By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Albert Mutoya is a Zambia citizen and an entrepreneurial hustler. Growing up with a single parent and in a family of 4, he quickly learned to overcome challenges. He shares, ‘finances were a challenge. I wanted to pursue a degree in IT but rather diverted to study a certificate in Insurance in 2013 because that would save me more money and time.’
Wanting to continue his studies, he was able to later study in the area of loss adjustment claims, continuing to slowly build up his resume.
Currently, he holds the title of Corporate Business Assistant as he is working in a private insurance company and saving as much as he can to put towards his dreams and future.
In the field of entrepreneurship, there is often a lot of trial and error. While an entrepreneur might start with one idea, he or she could pivot and try multiple routes before finding the right fit. And this is exactly where Albert is right now. Selling multiple products and services is allowing Albert to get experience in different areas. In addition, this is also enabling him to diversify, rather than depending on all of his income from one income stream.
Starting out on his Zidisha journey, Albert shared with lenders that he had 7 big business ideas for the future including:
- Opening a business center with mobile money services (Zoona, Kazang, Zanaco Express, and FNB express).
- Opening a business center for phone accessories.
- Opening a restaurant in one of the busy parts of Lusaka.
- Opening a barber shop.
- Venturing into the transportation business to improve the transport sector in Zambia.
- Venturing into farming to help promote food security in Zambia.
- My last and important future plan is something that will help me return to the community. An orphanage home for children, youth empowerment, and responding to disaster relief charities.
Since joining Zidisha in mid 2019, Albert has moved full force ahead, raising an impressive 9 Zidisha funded loans in 6 short months. So far, he has experimented with selling rice, phone accessories, talk time, electricity units, and more.
Albert’s first Zidisha funded loan was for $9 in July 2019, helping him to boost his rice business as he says, ‘The loan once acquired will assist me to boost my rice business because it will be easier for me to transport the packaged rice from the supply point to the desired customers….This in turn will help me gain customer loyalty and satisfaction and have a higher profit margin since goods will be delivered faster than I usually do on my feet.’
Finding success with his first loan, he successfully raised two more in July for $15 and $24, enabling him to order additional fitness watches and phone accessories to sell. For Albert, Zidisha has been an important asset in allowing him to have the funds to meet the demands of his customers and also provide his products on time to his customers.
The following month, in August, he raised 3 Zidisha funded loans for $35, $51, and $86. With these loans he was able to keep some money on hand to buy additional inventory as needed. Plus, he was also ready to purchase a laptop, for the purpose of reselling it.
By September, Albert was ready to continue purchasing additional laptops to resell, using a $172 loan from Zidisha lenders to help make it happen.
As the end of the year approached, Albert came up with another idea to earn a little extra income. He could use his vehicle as a taxi service business, and hire an employee to drive, allowing him to focus on his other projects but still bringing in some income. To make sure that his car was in top shape, he used $249 from Zidisha to have his vehicle serviced. This also gave him the opportunity to provide employment for a deserving member of his community.
Most recently, in December, Albert ended 2019 with his largest loan yet, $399 to boost his supply of rice for his eager customers. He shared, ‘As we are nearing to the end of the year, there are a lot of celebration activities that take place. Once my loan has been funded and received, I will use this opportunity to order rice to supply my clients on time. This will help me boost my capital and increase my income.’
Over the past 6 months, Albert has been able to try out multiple business ideas, through the help of amazing Zidisha lenders. As he nears the end of 2019 and heads into 2020, Albert can continue to pivot and refine, finding what works best for him and his customers.
Would you like to help other Zidisha entrepreneurs to boost their income and resources? Make sure to head on over to the Browse Projects Page to read about our inspiring business owners all over the world.