By Betsy Ramser Jaime
‘My name is John from Zambia and I am a social entrepreneur. I have commercial qualifications in Business Administration and Law with professional work experience that includes working in the renewable energy sector and as a program development specialist. I am passionate about public health, particularly safe motherhood.’
The purpose behind John’s business is to offer convenience to pregnant women. Describing his business, he shares, ‘What if ONE Mama’s Moments Maternity Kit could create behavioral change for the pregnant mother by encouraging early antenatal booking, increase male partner involvement in antenatal and postnatal services, ensure a livelihood opportunity for the community health volunteer, ensure a flow of health information to the pregnant woman and provide for a safe delivery?’
His business, called, Mama’s Moments is a comprehensive health initiative developed to tackle the challenges of maternal mortality and morbidity throughout Zambia.
Josh continues, ‘I started by developing subsidized maternity kits for the pregnant mothers, then re/training and economically empowering community health volunteers through entrepreneurship so that they have a livelihood by selling the maternity kits to the pregnant mothers to health promotions- road shows and displays in market places promoting early antenatal, male involvement and facility delivery and the 5 Golden Rules of COVID Prevention!’
So far, in his time with Zidisha, John has raised five Zidisha funded loans throughout 2021. With his first $14 loan he was able to start assembling his maternity kits. Conveying the importance of this loan, John shares, ‘This will mean poor pregnant mothers will be able to access clean delivery kits and enhance a safe delivery experience. It will also mean that she will be able to have a flow of information that will help her in making decisions about her delivery. Further, her male partner will get involved in antenatal and postnatal care. Subsequently, this will mean that the issues women face when trying to access safe childbirth will be greatly reduced. Even more importantly, as it will be cheaper than the competition, pregnant mothers will avoid crowded places and reduce the risk of catching COVID 19!’
With his following three loans of $14, $21, $100, and $118, John was able to grow his supply of kits. With his September loan, he shared, ‘The funds will be used to increase our Kits so that they are readily available to pregnant mothers. Our Kits are now readily available in 11 health facilities- with 22 Community Health Volunteers deriving an income in the form of commissions from the sales with 2 school leavers employed as customer service assistants.’
Recently on October 5, John took to his Zidisha discussion page and shared this exciting update of how far he’s come in his business. He writes, ‘Before raising a Loan on Zidisha, I was selling 3-5 Mama’s Moments Maternity Kits per week. Right now, after the loans I have raised, I am able to resell 10+ Kits per week. My team has increased to two Customer Service Representatives who also help me with assembling these Kits on a Saturday. During the week, they help me with manning the Spaza (Booth) in Chawama and Kanyama West and also with extra deliveries to the community health volunteers who sell our Kits for income generation. So, there is a positive change not just in my life but also in the lives of others.’
Would you like to make a difference in the life and business of an entrepreneur like John? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to see what other Zidisha business owners are doing around the world.