Growing From Strength to Strength

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

27 years old and married with two children, Mercy Muthoni started her career working as a Business Administrator. After a few years as an administrator, she decided to transition to a new role, helping her husband run his online business.

Initially, when Mercy graduated from college she dreamed of being a Gospel musician but she and her husband were unable to afford the pricey production fee charged by the music labels. While she may have had to shelve this goal, for now, she’s been able to take on new dreams as she shares, ‘I decided to look for a job and shelved the dream of becoming a musician. I worked for a few years and then my husband asked me to resign from the job and assist him in his online business which had started growing gradually. Today we are great partners and the business is running smoothly.’

She hopes that someday in the future she can eventually pursue a music career and record some of the songs that she has already written. In addition, as a good volleyball player, she also hopes to spend some of her time as a volleyball coach.

In describing the online business she writes, ‘My husband and I are partners in a business that we run online through the Upwork marketplace platform. We offer Accounting and Research services, he heads the Accounting section and myself the Research section of the business. Since we started the business it has grown from strength to strength and now we are servicing a long-term client base of about ten. Ranging from corporate to individuals from Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States. Through Zidisha loans we plan to expand the business and create jobs for the youths here in Kenya.’

Starting with a $50 Zidisha funded loan in 2014, Mercy was able to replace the plastic chair she’d been using with a good-quality office chair. Since she is accustomed to working for 8-10 hours per day, she knew that having a good chair would be better for her back and would even improve her work as she’d be more productive.

The following year, in 2015, Mercy raised 4 loans from Zidisha lenders ranging from $99 to $767. With these loans, she purchased a water dispenser for their office, bought a new laptop, expanded their workspace, and even started to develop rental properties to diversify their income streams.

After receiving her first few loans, Mercy voiced her appreciation for the Zidisha community as she shared, ‘We thank you all for the support to our online business so far. It has been a great experience since we joined Zidisha. The previous loans have seen the growth of our business in terms of profits through cost-cutting and increased revenue per month. Recently we have been able to expand our home office. We are now using the profits to expand our business by investing in the real estate sector. One of Zidisha’s agents visited our business and was impressed with our progress.’

With her two most recent Zidisha funded loans of $1,595 and $1,573, Mercy and her husband have been continuing to develop their rental properties, using the funds for sand, cement, labor, binding wire, blades, and other supplies. Six years after using their savings to purchase the land for their rental properties, the project is almost finished.

Would you like to make a difference in the life of a business owner like Mercy? Make sure to head on over to our browse projects page to see how other Zidisha entrepreneurs are changing their lives and communities for the better.

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