By Betsy Ramser Jaime
As a student, Felix Appiah attended the Ghana Armed Forces secondary school in Kumasi. Afterwards, he earned a degree in Civil Engineering. Today he is busy as he manages two jobs. First, as a supervisor for the construction of roads, buildings, and culverts. And second, he is also self-employed as a web designer and video blogger. When Felix was first introduced to Zidisha he shared that, ‘I have a passion for pictures and videos and wish to open my own studio.’ At the time, he was using an old camera which he liked to call his, ‘Sony Grandpa.’ However, his goal was to upgrade his equipment so that he would be able to offer higher quality results and services for his customers. You can even view his website at: www.trisolace.com.
As Felix was first introduced to Zidisha in 2017, he shared his hopes and goals with lenders, ‘I use my time to pursue my love in picture taking and videos. I have some contracts to cover small weddings and parties in my area. But I lack new equipment and accessories in the ever growing photography world. I currently have in my employ 1 person who carries my home made lighting pole for night events and indoor events. I would love to employ more people and buy more equipment. I get my revenue or income from the little retail business I have and also from contracts of weddings and party coverage. And some revenue also come from my occasional supervision work as a foreman or supervisor in building and construction work.’
With his first Zidisha funded loan of $124, Felix set out to purchase a 20 megapixel camera that he could use for weddings and party shoots. In addition, he also hoped to use the remainder of the loan to buy a lighting pole for indoor video and photo shoots. By improving his equipment quality, Felix knew that this would allow him to provide better quality videos and photos for his clients. Also, he foresaw that this could lead to more contracts and hopefully the ability to employ more workers too.
Felix’s next business purchase required some patience and persistence. He dreamed of purchasing a high quality laptop that he could use for his photo and video editing. At the time, he had been doing most of his editing at internet cafes but found that the computers were often slow and unreliable. With a laptop of his own, he knew this would make a big difference in his business in allowing him to process more videos, increasing his productivity by almost 50%. He estimated a cost of $400 for the laptop and $25 for the editing software. Through the duration of 6 Zidisha funded loans, ranging from $33 to $126, Felix was able to continue saving for his laptop.
By January 2019, Felix found that his DIY lighting equipment was ready for an upgrade. He shared, ‘the DIY one I did is not so professional and it’s not very bright for very dark areas.’ His goal was to purchase an LED lightweight video light, which would cost about $80 and a rechargeable battery, for about $110. Between his own savings and his Zidisha funded loan, he knew he could reach his goal. This would also allow him to expand his services as he had previously rejected night time jobs due to his poor lighting.
Since February 2019, Felix has continued to make progress and has added some additional equipment including a Godox Universal flashlight, with the help of a $138 Zidisha funded loan and how he is saving to buy a Lumix GH4 Camera.
Felix has also recently branched out into designing flyers and graphic development. He found that his media clients were asking him for these services, so now he has an additional stream of income for his business. To ensure that he has the proper skills and training, he has even enrolled in a 3 month intensive Photoshop training.
Today he is pleased with where he is in his business and shares with his lenders that, ‘Purchasing this high graphic laptop has been a dream come true and a move to make my wok more efficient and on time delivery of clients videos and photography works.’
Would you like to make a difference in the life of an entrepreneur like Felix? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about dozens of other inspiring business owners that are changing their communities.