By Betsy Ramser Jaime
‘My name is Dr. (Mrs.) Chioma Ihebereme. I am a Lecturer by profession but also have a snail farm business. The snail farm business started out of my initiative and flair for the livestock business. I started my snail farm in a cage well prepared for snail habitation.’
As Chioma first got started with her business, she initially sold to her colleagues and to other homes on demand. Very early on, she realized that she would need to expand.
She explains, ‘When I saw that there was a high demand for my snails, I quickly expanded my snail farm using a farm space in my compound. As the snails mature, I deemed it necessary to negotiate with hotels and fast food outfits for a contract to be supplying snails to them. Fortunately, my proposal was granted and I started supplying snails to hotels and to others. I equally supply snails to traders that sell snails in the market. I also do home delivery to individuals.’
Through her business, Chioma has been able to significantly invest in her children’s education by paying their school fees and also creating an education fund account for them.
Chioma continues, ‘As my snail farm business grows and progresses, I partitioned my snail shop and employed a few workers to assist me. In this direction, their salary will be included in the expenses from the snail sales. Expenses are equally made when training workshops are organized for the recruited workers. The snail farm business is challenging but rewarding if the utmost dedication is ascribed to its service delivery. I sincerely enjoy the snail business because there is a high demand for its consumption hence sales are quickly made and profit realized.’
Chioma has also been able to successfully combine her background in speaking and lecturing, with her love for small business farming. Since starting her business she has been asked to speak at conferences, workshops, and seminars throughout the country about starting and building a snail farm business.
Chioma shares, ‘I passionately love my snail farm business because it has given me positive exposure, and my snail sales revenue has greatly assisted in my family upkeep.’
Since joining Zidisha near the end of 2019, Chioma has raised 8 Zidisha funded loans ranging in amount from $2 to $762. With these loans she’s been able to repair a damaged fence on her farm, purchase livestock, construct units to house her snails, and purchase a water spray kettle and additional snails.
On July 16, 2020, Chioma took to her Zidisha discussion page and shared, ‘Good morning Sir/ Madam. Zidisha is extremely reliable and profitable. I have earnestly benefited from Zidisha loans. The snails are doing well. I used part of the money I got from sales to complete the payment of my children’s outstanding school fees. Bravo Zidisha! My Lenders, I am very grateful. Thank you.’
Most recently, in January 2021, with a loan of $762, Chioma was able to purchase a large number of baby snails to breed and raise. As her business has continued to flourish, now she requires larger orders to meet the needs of her expanding customer base.
On Jan 19, 2021, Chioma posted this video on her Zidisha page.
Would you like to make a difference in the life of an entrepreneur like Chioma? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about other Zidisha business owners around the world.