By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Hadija Abdulahi was born in Nairobi but later moved to Nanyuki with her family. Growing up, her father worked as a civil servant and made sure to instill entrepreneurial skills in his children.
Today, Hadija is married and has two young children, a son, and a daughter. Currently, she lives in Machakos with her children, while her husband is in Mombasa for his job.
Hadija has had a variety of businesses as she has adapted to the needs of her community. One included a shop called, ‘Kiasa General Supplies’ as she explains, ‘When we started this shop, we had an idea of providing basic everyday commodities at an affordable price range. Most of my neighbors live a hand-to-mouth kind of life. So at Kiasa General Supplies, we package our items from as low as Ksh. 10.’
She shares, ‘I am so grateful to the Zidisha platform and its members because from day one when I started cooking homemade donuts and other snacks as a business to my poultry farm to the ice Popsicle business and now to building my own shop, Zidisha has always been there for me and my family.’
Since 2014, Hadija has raised 8 Zidisha-funded loans. Her first loan was for $50 and allowed her to start buying items like flour and sugar in bulk quantities, thus saving money. Even from the start, Hadija could appreciate her small but steady progress, sharing, ‘Zidisha family I kindly urge you to help me improve my family and move one step closer to realizing my dream of owning a donuts and pastries shop. Thank you.’
In addition to buying inventory for her shop, Hadija has also used her Zidisha-funded loans to help with her poultry farming. Upon raising $220 from lenders in May 2014, she shared, ‘When I get this loan, $150 will be used to construct a bigger coop that will be able to house the 36 chicks plus their hens, especially now that the cold season is coming, $20 will be vaccines for the chicks to protect them from common diseases and the remaining balance of about $145 will go to feeds.’
Over the next few years, Hadija has continued to grow her businesses, using her loans to continue expanding her poultry business and paying for transport costs.
Then, in December 2020, she also raised $560 to put towards a water storage tank that would allow her to trap her rainwater. She knew that this would be especially helpful in the dry seasons as the chickens tend to drink a lot of water.
Below you can see the before and after of how Hadija has been able to increase her inventory in her shop!
So far in 2022, Hadija has raised amounts of $683 and $707 helping her to increase her inventory of exercise books, stationery, lotions, perfumes, and hair products as her customers continue to request these products. She is able to set herself apart by offering products that are unavailable elsewhere in her community.
Hadija is grateful to all the people that have helped her along on her journey as she writes, ‘All this was made possible by the whole Zidisha family. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.’
Would you like to make a difference in the life of an entrepreneur like Hadija? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to see how other Zidisha business owners are changing their lives and communities for the better.
Betsy is a Writer and Editor living in Florida with her husband. She has been writing with Zidisha for 5 years and loves sharing the inspiring stories of Zidisha entrepreneurs. You can connect with her on her personal website.