By Betsy Ramser Jaime
‘My name is Mark Vingo Zakayo, a diploma graduate from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and technology with a diploma in information technology.’ After gaining 3 years of work experience in IT firms, Mark decided to venture into entrepreneurship, and work for himself.
Like many new entrepreneurs, Mark struggled at first to get his footing to find the right business sector and model. He shares, ‘from 2010 I have been involved in three different types of business which two didn’t succeed, namely Printing and branding and government construction tenders. Then in January 2018 I met a friend of mine from High school who introduced me the laboratory supplies. There after I registered a sole proprietor by the name VIZAK ENTERPRISES and the business started to grow from there.’
One of the reasons why Mark is such an inspiration is that he found the resilience to pivot and keep trying, even when his first two businesses didn’t work out for him. Learning something new always requires more patience and persistence than many people are willing to give.
To provide more details on his business, Mark says, ‘VIZAK ENTERPRISES deals in supply of laboratory reagents, Laboratory test kits, hospital non pharmaceuticals, surgicals, hospital equipment and general hospital consumables supplies and I have been supplying this products to hospitals and medical clinics around Nairobi city and its environments and hospital cross the country for the last 2 years.’
While Mark is a new member of the Zidisha community, joining in early 2020, he is already making big strides. So far, he has raised 5 Zidisha funded loans and has been able to maintain a 100% repayment record, paying all of his loans on time.
To paint a picture of how Mark has utilized these loans, he has been able to purchase sample containers, blood sugar testing strips, latex gloves, alcohol based sanitizer, syringes, needles, blood vacutainer tubes. In addition, with the current spread of coronavirus, this has also increased his stock of surgical face masks, hand sanitizers, infrared thermometers, latex powdered and non powdered gloves, and shoe covers for health workers.
Because Mark supplies his products directly to local health providers, he is able to make a difference and impact his community during this global pandemic.
Mark explains his journey to his current business explaining, ‘As the majority of you know the health sector is growing very fast and medical clinic, health centers and hospitals are being established almost every place to cater for the growing populations in the country, therefore my products are a must for every laboratory either in a hospital or operating on its own. This is basically one of the main reasons why I ventured into the business, the demand for laboratory items is very high yet the suppliers are very few due to the technicalities involved in the business.’
Mark also appreciates that his business is very cost effective and his costs are limited to a yearly business license, supplies, an office space, and a single employee for deliveries.
Recently on May 16, 2020, Mark wrote on his discussion page and thankfully shared this update with his lenders, ‘I want to take this opportunity to thank the lenders for granting my request for the loan. These funds will go a long way in helping my business and during this pandemic, it will also enable me to continue providing for my family and the people that depend on my business for a living. Thank you very much and God bless you abundantly.’
Would you like to impact the life of a persistent entrepreneur like Mark? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about other inspiring Zidisha business owners all over the world.