From Teacher to Business Owner

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By Betsy Ramser Jaime

Before venturing into entrepreneurship, Osmond Ndegwa spent more than 10 years working as a teacher. He shares that his schooling and training prepared him to be self-reliant and disciplined, both qualities that serve him well in his business. He’s also extremely proud of the fact that all three of his children have completed university and are now working.

In his business, Osmond owns a metal workshop where he produces: wrought iron gates, grills, and windows, all of which are in great demand in his community.

Prior to teaching, he was trained in welding and motor vehicle mechanics as a boy. He explains, ‘The business has grown and now I have started a hardware shop for selling the materials that are needed for welding. My customers are the welders near my location.’

Upon joining Zidisha in February 2016, Osmond raised $150 from Zidisha lenders in order to purchase new materials for his workshop and store. This provided him with the boost he needed to keep going.

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Shortly thereafter, he raised his second loan, raising $302 in June 2016. With this loan, Osmond bought metal bars, square tubes, and mild steel plates. Osmond explains, ‘This will help me save on transport since the number of times and the time I spend when I go to do the purchase will be reduced. This will make my profit to go up and thus benefit my family. I go to purchase at least 4 times a week and use about US$20 per trip, if this can be reduced by half then I will save US$ 40 every month and of course the profit will increase due to the increase in volume of the purchase.’

One of the amazing benefits of the lender/borrower relationship, is that borrowers are given the capital to buy larger quantities of stock and other items that they would never be able to purchase on their own. In the long run, this can save them considerable sums of money and also time, benefiting both borrowers and their clients and customers.

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A true entrepreneur, Osmond started thinking ahead about expanding and growing his business. To do this, he decided to purchase a machine for making steel window hedges, costing approximately, $450. Additionally, he set out to buy the metal plates that he would cut with the new hedges, at a cost of $200. In total, for this Zidisha loan, he was able to raise, $610. Osmond predicted that these changes would result in an income increase of $100 per month and would also put him in a position to employ one person in his business.

By September 2017, Osmond found himself in need of new stock. Fortunately, through the help of his lenders, he raised his largest loan yet, $1,118. Specifically, he bought, hollow section tubes in different sizes, metal plates, welding rods, and zed and tee bars. Beyond this, he also had an idea to start selling plumbing pipes and fittings. Osmond confidently shares, ‘The purchase will bring in new customers who I had not targeted earlier and shall save the customers time since the goods will be closer. I intend to have an increased profit by up to 50% and I know that this is achievable.’ After receiving his loan, Osmond shared, ‘I thank all lenders for their willingness to lend for it’s a rare gift you have. I’ll put the money in my business and hope to repay in good time so other people can benefit.’

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Recently, on March 1, 2019, Osmond took to his discussion page to share this heartfelt update with the Zidisha community. ‘First I want to thank all the lenders who believed in me and the Zidisha team for giving needy small business entrepreneurs a platform to borrow money for empowering themselves. I will buy a generator assembly without an engine, a motor, battery, solar panels, a flywheel, and other items to help me build a system that will generate electricity.’

In addition to making a huge impact in his own life and his family, Osmond also deeply cares for his community. He loves to assist the less fortunate so that they can be empowered to change their lives for the better!

Would you like to help Osmond, and also empower others? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read story after story of determination and perseverance.

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