By Betsy Ramser Jaime
‘I am Scholastica Ntarara, a 28-year old born in Meru, Kenya.’ As a student, Scholastica went to both primary and secondary school in Meru and then continued her education at Mt. Kenya University, receiving a diploma in Community Development and Social Work.
She shares, ‘My family was not in formal employment in fact they were struggling to bring us up, and seeing all they went through to provide for us and make sure we went to school I promised to give it my best and make sure I did well in my education.’
After graduating and finding it difficult to find a job, Scholastica was given $200 from her boyfriend to start her own business. She invested the money into buying second hand clothing and beauty shop inventory.
Writing more about starting her business she says, ‘Since I was young I liked being neat and while in school I would always look for unique items to put on. It was from this and after sharing my idea with my boyfriend who had also noticed my liking for beauty products that he decided to fund me with about $200 to start a beauty shop. I started small where I bought a few beauty products combined with ladies second-hand clothes. Due to my commitment and passion for this line of business, it has been growing at a commendable pace. My customers like me and my husband also likes visiting my shop because he says he finds me funny selling and negotiating prices with my customers.’
Today she is happy with her progress and is continuing to grow her business. Now, her boyfriend has become her husband and she is the mother of two children, with a daughter, age 7, and a son, age 2.
With 9 Zidisha funded loans under her belt, Scholastica has continually grown her business since joining Zidisha in 2015. Through this time, she started out with her first $100 loan and is now raising loans for almost $1,000. With each additional loan, Scholastica has purchased additional beauty supplies and second-hand clothing inventory for her business.
As for almost everyone around the world, the pandemic made 2020-2021 a challenging time. However, Scholastica has continued to persevere as she says, ‘Yes it is a hard time for business in our country and all over the world businesses are struggling. But thanks to my loyal customers who have kept coming to buy clothes from my shop that I have managed to pull through and am still making sales. I will rely on the same customers plus others because people have learned to accept and leave with the pandemic with the business environment in our country gradually improving.’
Would you like to make a difference in the life of an inspiring entrepreneur like Scholastica? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to check out other successful Zidisha business owners.