I Have Come a Long Way Thanks to Zidisha

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

‘My name is Rosemary Mwangi, I come from a family of 6 members, my parents, 2 sisters, and 1 brother. I was brought up in lower Kabete and later Nakuru freehold estate. I pursued a diploma in marketing management at the Kenya Institute of Management.’

Today Rosemary runs her own cereal shop which she started in 2011. Before that, she worked for a year in the ICT industry. The products that she sells primarily consist of, ‘rice, ndengu, beans, and maize.’ Rosemary has found that selling cereals is a good business to be in since these are products that people consume regularly, even when the economy is not doing well.

Describing her competitive edge, Rosemary says, ‘My clients prefer me because I always give them fresh quality goods and of good measure and treat them with good customer service. The business is profitable since it is food that is bought daily and I get at a reasonable amount from the farmers since there is no intermediary between me and the farmers. I also sell at a cheaper price compared to my competitors and sell at wholesale price to other sellers.’

Since joining Zidisha in 2013, Rosemary has found increasing success in her business. With her first loan, she raised $500 and shared, ‘I am very glad to have reached this stage, I intend to purchase dry grains like maize and rice since this is the time that people are selling and replanting others thus the cost will eventually rise and the returns will be great. I also intend to put more shelves in my store. I will be grateful if given the loan.’

Later that year, she raised $1,067 and used her funds to bulk purchase her cereals, pay for transport, and also pay for her store. As she raised this second loan, she was proud to explain that her first loan had really made a big difference in her business.

By 2016, Rosemary was operating two cereal shops in Nakaru, continuing to raise loans of $2,000-$3,000 to buy new grains. The following year, in 2017, Rosemary decided that it was time for her to diversify with new crops. With her loans, she had the capital to lease land, purchase seedlings, and used the remainder to pay for her annual license for her business.

Sharing her gratitude for the Zidisha community and upcoming plans, Rosemary says, ‘Hello, am so grateful for the opportunity and support. I have come a long way thanks to Zidisha. I plan to use the loan to buy feeds, and I currently joined my father in dairy farming. I have 4 dairy cows, and I plan to use $1500 to buy 2 new cows, I currently make $32 per day in milk sales, and if I increase I will make around $48 per day. I’ll use $500 for feeds and the remaining $1200 will be used for my cereal business which makes around $500 profit per week. $134 will be used to give back to the less fortunate.’

Rosemary has also been able to use her income from her businesses to pay for school fees for both her daughter and also for her brother.

Would you like to make a difference in the life of a Zidisha entrepreneur like Rosemary? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to see how other members of the Zidisha community are changing their lives and communities.

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