By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Born in Mwea Gategi, Kenya, Daniel Maingi attended school in his village and later managed to join Lenana school before going on to Jomo Kenyatta University. During his university studies, Daniel focused on expanding his skillset in Information Technology, as he says, ‘I love technology and it’s my dream that one day I will have a big venture that empowers other youth in terms of job creation to enable them to also earn a living.’
For the first 4 years of Daniel’s entrepreneurial journey, he operated his own shop selling mobile phones. Between 2014 and 2015, he was able to to successfully raise 3 Zidisha funded loans to expand his business. Starting with an initial loan of $50 in November, 2014, Daniel explained, ‘when I get the loan I will add more phones to the shop thus customers will be able to get a variety of products as I look forward to adding more stock in the future since I have to start small and build up the shop to a big venture in the future. I have been tying a get a loan from local lenders but they need security which is hard to get as a youth with a small business venture. Mobile phone is a good business venture considering everyone need the device to communicate. If I buy one phone at $5.7 I will buy approximately 8 phones.’
The following year, in 2015, Daniel raised two additional Zidisha funded loans, one for $49 and the other for $48, allowing him to add additional inventory to his shop. After seeing success with his first Zidisha loan, he shared, ‘After the 1st loan, I have made a big profit which is almost 20% of the loan amount as profit and I bought more phones. I would like to stock more variety for my customers since with many brands. I believe I will be a one stop shop for phone and also phone accessories.’
A few years into running his shop, Daniel decided to sell his business and move into a different type of business, running a taxicab business. Since making this transition in his business, he has found success as he bought one taxicab, employed a worker, and was later on able to purchase a second cab, allowing him to double his weekly income.
Since starting the taxicab business, Daniel has raised 4 additional Zidisha funded loans, to help him take this business to new heights. In November 2019, he was able to raise $173, which he put toward purchasing new tires for his taxi.
The following month, he raised, $251 from Zidisha lenders, allowing him to buy seat covers for his taxi. He determined that this would be a smart business move as it would allow him to easily clean the seats, especially during the current busy season when he was experiencing a higher number of customers than usual.
So far in 2020, Daniel has raised funds both in January ($326) and March ($565) and these loans have enabled him to purchase new tires and lights for his second cab and to do some paint work on his first cab.
Sharing his pride for his business and gratitude for the Zidisha community, Daniel says, ‘Dear lenders thank you so much for the loans that have boosted my cab business tremendously and managed me to be competitive in the market. Tires are all fine and lights works super well. Thank you so much.’
Would you like to impact the life of an entrepreneur like Daniel? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about our other inspiring Zidisha business owners around the world.