Entrepreneurial Genes

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Linus Obiero was born and raised in the Nyanza region of Kenya. He shares that this area is “predominantly occupied by the Luo culture, known to be pleasure loving and not business oriented.” Even so, Linus had the good fortune to be raised by entrepreneurial parents with established businesses. This allowed Linus to get experience working in a business from a young age.

In addition to his entrepreneurial skills, Linus also has a great education with a degree in Applied Statistics with IT. Until recently, he worked for a local NGO as a Data Officer. Since changing positions, he now works as a Social Worker at Oyugis Redeemed Gospel Church with a Compassion International assisted project. He explains, “I implement programs that are aimed at holistic child development among the poorest children in the oyugis community.”

As a side business, Linus also owns a stable liquid petroleum gas supply business which he has been able to grow solely through his Zidisha loans. He also owns a motorcycle which allows him to facilitate restocks and home deliveries.

Linus shares an update as he explains, “Following a recent relocation to Oyugis town due to change of jobs, I have since established another branch of the business in town (the one in the village maintained). Although there exists competition, I have an added advantage since I do doorstep delivery and have a measuring scale to verify weight of cylinders at the point of delivery. This strategy is working well and within just two months, my stock base is already being overwhelmed by the client base. I therefore seek to double my operating stock.”

He is currently able to earn about $120 per month and is looking to hire an assistant to help with the growing demand.

In addition to a busy work life, Linus also has a wife and a young son and also enjoys playing the keyboard explaining, “I love to play piano keyboard and bass guitar, and this makes Sunday my best day of the week, as I get to serve with my skills during the worship service in my local church.”

Linus has been receiving Zidisha funded loans for a little over a year, starting in June 2017 with a $99 loan. He used his initial loan for travel expenses as he traveled to meet with future suppliers.

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Later in 2017, Linus raised two additional loans in September and December, the first for $149 and the second for $596. With his September loan, he purchased some stock of LPG cycliners with burners and grill. He explains, “The inventory will function to start up the business and warm up the market as I progress to build up more stock. I expect to net $5 per cylinder.” Once again, with the December loan he was able to restock his inventory.

So far in 2018, Linus has received two Zidisha funded loans for $295 and $444 in May and then in July. As he prepared to increase his inventory he explained to lenders the importance of his business and why he’s doing it. He shared that without this business his fellow community members would need to travel 50 kms to another town to purchase these products. He also hopes that he will soon be able to achieve another goal which is to one day sponsor a needy child in his place of work.

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With his most recent loan, in July, Linus used this as an opportunity to expand his Oyugis branch of his business. He purchased 10 additional units of the 13kg cylinders and 5 additional units of the 6kg cylinders. Furthermore, he shares the continued benefits as he tells lenders:

Increasing my stock has the following benefits:

  • Safely and efficiently meet growing customer demands.
  • Increase revenue and profits (from $120 per month to $150 per month) due to more sales.
  • Increase the business capacity to employ an assistant.
  • More profit for me, means I will be better care for my first born as he arrives in August.

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Recently, on August 27, Linus shared this exciting update on his discussion page, “Dear Lenders. Thank you indeed for having funded my previous loan. I managed to increase cylinder stock and hire an assistant. In the long run, it resulted in increased revenue. God blessed me with a son this month (an heir to this business). Preparing for his coming was a lighter task since there has been better flow of income from the business, to support my salary. I am therefore a happy father and a thankful member of the Zidisha community. May the Lord richly reward all my lenders.”

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