By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Growing up, Philemon Misoi had a rough start in life, in a poor family with 10 siblings. He candidly shares, ‘I went through hardship and challenges in my tender age due to financial challenges. Being a big family I struggled through toil and hardship that made me be self-reliant. The hardship and challenges forced me to develop financial independence. While I was in primary school at the age of 12 I started operating a small business as a hawker selling mangoes and oranges in Kamoiywa village. This built my entrepreneurial skills and the desire to have financial freedom.’
After catching the entrepreneurial bug at a young age, Philemon attended Karatina University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship in December 2017.
Today he is both working part-time and operating a transport business which he started with one motorbike.
In describing his business he writes, ‘As a sole proprietor, I operate a transport business. I am in possession of 1 motorbike facilitating transport businesses within small towns. It’s operating from morning till 8 pm at night. I have managed to employ one person to carry out the transportation. Currently, I earn 100 dollars per month after deducting monthly expenses. Due to the low season and long election period the transport sector has been affected adversely. Transport in small towns has high demand because it’s the only convenient mode of transportation in rural areas.’
His hobby is networking as he explains, ‘My hobby is networking and this has enabled me to get more business opportunities in network marketing as well as sharing ideas about upcoming business ventures.’
Since joining Zidisha in 2017, Philemon has successfully raised 7 Zidisha-funded loans. He started off with a loan of $79 and is now raising loan amounts of over $1,000.
Over the next couple of years, Philemon shifted his business, moving primarily from motorcycles to Tuk Tuk’s as a mode of transportation and also selling gas and water. Upon receiving a Zidisha-funded loan of $1,159 to help make this transition possible, he shared, ‘I would wish to expand my water business by adding another Tuk-tuk costing $2,700. I have been able to save $130 from my water supply and transport business. Every week profit ranges from $250 to $300. I am in need to expand my business due to high demand from customers. The expected increase in income to about $450. I requested funding to help achieve my dream as an entrepreneur.’
Most recently, on May 23, 2022, Philemon took to his Zidisha discussion page to share an update, writing, ‘From the previous business I was able to grow my gas business and also shifted from the motorcycle business to now owning Tuk-tuks. Currently, I am selling water with jerrycans of 20 liters with the help of Tuk-tuk as a means of transportation.’
Would you like to make a difference in the life of an entrepreneur like Philemon? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to see what other Zidisha business owners are doing around the world.
Betsy is a Writer and Editor living in Florida with her husband. She has been writing with Zidisha for 5 years and loves sharing the inspiring stories of Zidisha entrepreneurs. You can connect with her on her personal website.