Nairobi City,githunguri Village, Kenya

32% repaid




Member since

June 2012

On-time repayments

66 installments  •  30%

About Me

My name is Violet aged 36 and am a Kenyan.Am married with two children and i live in Utawala,Embakasi Estate.I finished my high school in 1994 joined college in Computer technology,later i was employed in a hardware store for ten years and i was retrenched.
I decided to start my own business whereby i sell building materials and electrical fittings.This business has enabled me buy a small piece of land and am still constructing a small house withe earnings i get and the rest is saved into my account.
I have also managed to buy a donkey and a cart to enable me deliver goods to my customers.
Am also able to stock the business and support my family as well as meet my daily basic needs.Being the first born in a family of five, I help my parents in paying for their education.

My Business

My business is called "GHEMT HARDWARE ELECTRICALS". GHEMT means "God has extended my territories". I deal with paints, electrical fittings and building materials such as pipes,cement and nails. I chose to start a hardware shop,since its a local place with few people but still in construction.
People prefer my business despite the competition since i deliver free transport . I also ensure i know what's new on market so as to sell quality and original products. I provide customers with plumbers , electricians and painters who charge them at fair costs for labour costs.
Some of the challenges i get include lack of financial support since the business is too demanding.
My monthly income,sales revenue and profits are as stated;
monthly income- 20,000
money funded for the business- 10,000

Loan Proposal

Dear lenders incase I succeed in qualifying for a second loan I am planning to stock half of the money on electric materials.Mostly I will stock wires from size 1.5mm to 2.5mm.These wires are expensive and one requires to stock at least a set of 3, for each size of which the cost ranges from sh3500-12000.I will also stock bulbs of different types,sizes and colours.Some of the fittings I will also buy are consumer units ,sockets ,meter boxes and pipe fittings.Part of the money will be used on plumbing material such as instant shower roses,taps,pipes,gatevalves and pipe fittings.The rest of the money I'll stock mops,plastic buckets and basins,jikos and chicken feeders.






Loan Info

Project Type

Classic Loan

Disbursed amount


Date disbursed

Aug 18, 2013

Repayment status


Projected term

55 months

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Ask Violet a question about this project, share news and photos of your own, or send a simple note of thanks or inspiration.

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  • Mårten    Jan 11, 2019

    Hello Violet,
    how are you doing?

    All the best,

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  • JMSR18    Mar 21, 2016

    What happened with Violet? She was very punctual paying her instalments.

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  • Lisbeth    Oct 7, 2014

    Hi Violet
    I just wanted to say good luck to Jacinta for her KCSE exams that are on at the moment. I hope she is happy with her progress so far and that it all goes well.

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  • Violet    Aug 14, 2014

    Dear lenders,
    Greetings am fine and doing fine ,only that I have been experiencing some few problems but God willing I know I will be back on my feet again.Am still doing business and am sorry for those two months that I have not been able to make my installments in time.I promised not to let you down and I know as soon as things begin to be better I will not dissapoint you.Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to reschedule my loan and thank you once more for understanding me too.
    I was grateful that Liz came to visit me in my shop and I was so excited and happy.She took notes about my business and she is really a nice person.This is the third time I have had Zidisha org. pay me a visit and it felt good,its a pleasure and am grateful.Thanks so much.Please forgive me for not communicating for a while but now i will be giving you updates every now and then about my progress.Thank you once more.

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  • Violet    Aug 14, 2014

    Dear lenders,
    Greetings,Am fine and my family too is doing well.I would wish to reschedule my loan at least for three months since I was having some domestic problems at home that affected me emotionally and financialy too.You have noted for two months I have not paid my installments in time but in three months time I wIill have adjusted myself financially ..Thank you.

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  • Lisbeth    Aug 14, 2014

    The road heading to Mihango in eastern Nairobi is lined with buildings in varying stages of construction, piles of bricks and people welding gates and doors. Trucks ply the route in both directions carrying construction materials, equipment and workers. It’s clearly an area under development and the perfect place for Violet Karwimbo’s GHEMT Hardware & Electricals shop. Violet has run her business for several years but she moved to her current location on this busy road about a year ago and the move has proved very successful as she is now paying less rent and she has attracted many new customers.
    Violet has used her Zidisha loans to increase the range of stock in her store and given the size of the store it’s amazing the amount of different stock Violet manages to carry. She has recently added items as diverse as chicken feeders, plastics, meter boxes, more plumbing fittings and electrical wires. The loans have also allowed her to buy in bulk at cheaper prices which has really boosted her profits. Violet appreciates how she can make her repayments ‘without a lot of stress because the interest is low’.
    Violet credits the Zidisha community with providing her with much more than just capital for her business and says ‘because of Zidisha I also know about other businesses’ as she is active in Facebook discussions with other Zidisha borrowers in Kenya. Through such forums she learnt about chicken farming and now keeps twenty chickens at home providing her family with fresh eggs and sometimes chicken meat as well as some additional income from selling any surplus. Violet also made contact with a potato supplier through Zidisha contacts and she now also sells potatoes from her hardware store which initially seemed a bit strange to me, but just shows her good business mind in recognising a need in the market as no one else nearby was selling potatoes so this has added another profitable arm to her business.
    Violet’s eighteen year old daughter, Jacinta, is currently studying hard in her final year of high school and hopes to commence studying medicine at university next year. Eleven year old Daniel is also apparently very bright and would like to be either a pilot, understandable since the family lives near the international airport, or a pastor.
    Her Zidisha loans have really helped increase Violet’s business profit which she has been able to use to support her family and reinvest in her business. Last year Violet was able to enrol Daniel in a better quality, but more expensive school. Violet also explains how her family is able to eat differently now and how previously it was ‘hard to put a good meal on the table’. The family used to eat a lot of githeri (beans and maize) and ugali (cooked ground maize) but they now eat a wider variety of foods including more vegetables, meat and chapatti and Violet says ‘we don’t have to strain to eat well’. The family can also afford to visit Violet’s parents more often as they live several hours away and she has been able to save some money towards Jacinta’s university fees and hopes to fund the remainder from her ongoing business profits.
    Violet understands that not everyone in Kenya is as fortunate as she or her family so at least once a month she takes her children to visit orphanages to distribute whatever they can spare or collect such as food, candy, clothes and charcoal. Violet says these visits ‘make you see life in a different view’ and mean that her children ‘have learnt to accept what I give them’.
    Violet usually opens her store from 8am until 7pm six days a week and she then has a half an hour walk home. On Sundays Violet attends church and spends time relaxing with her children. She also likes watching TV and movies. She recently separated from her husband so this has obviously been a difficult time for Violet and her children but although softly spoken she remains a very positive, smiley person.
    Violet has a Diploma in Computer Technology and hopes to continue her studies with an Upper Diploma and then Bachelors in Computer Programming. Next year she hopes to be able to hire an employee to assist her in the store while she studies part time and we joke that she and Jacinta might be studying together at the same university.
    Violet’s years of working in a hardware store before starting her own business mean she is very knowledgeable about the sector. Her short term plans include widening her range of electrical items (there is no other electrical goods supplier in the area) and erecting hooks on her front door to display these items. She would also like to extend a shaded covering in front of the store to allow her to display larger items like mattresses and metal boxes which are popular in the area. The population growth in the area and therefore commencement of bus services from the closest main road which travel right past her front door mean she now has the transport facilities available to allow her to stock these popular, larger items.
    In the longer term Violet hopes to work from home as a computer programmer and also run a wholesale hardware store supplying to retailers as she understands their challenges. She also has a plot of land she inherited in nearby Ruai where she hopes to grow crops of beans and maize one day.
    Lisbeth Overheu, Kenya Client Relationship Volunteer
    1. Violet in her hardware store.
    2. Some of the variety of stock Violet now carries thanks to her Zidisha loans.
    3. One of the many construction sites in the area, this one is directly opposite Violet’s shop.
    4. Violet’s GHEMT Hardware & Electricals shop on a dusty road in Mihango.

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  • Lisbeth    Aug 14, 2014

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  • mewesten    Oct 16, 2013

    Dear Violet,
    Congratulations on making your first payment. I sincerely hope this means that your electrical supply business is doing well.
    I hope the Zidisha loan has helped.
    Best wishes to you.

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  • Violet    Oct 16, 2013

    Dear lenders,
    Am fine me and my family.My business is doing fine and am grateful to you because I have been so busy attending to customers.I was able to stock the business successfully and I have used part of the money in restocking.I was able to buy plastic basins, buckets ,mops and brooms.I was also able to buy electric fittings like pipes,sockets ,instant showers,bulbs in different sizes and models and other small small electric items that I decided to add to my busineess.My kids assisted in helping me do window shopping and it was fun including them in buying this items and arranging them in shop.The result of the loan will bring changes in the business such as: ,there will be increase in sales and I will save time and money since I bought goods in bulky and abit cheaper since I bought some from manufacturers.I have sold some and am still selling the rest since this season businesss was good .Thanks so much for your support.

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    • mewesten    Oct 16, 2013

      Dear Violet,
      Congratulations on making your first payment. I sincerely hope this means that your electrical supply business is doing well.
      I am very happy that the Zidisha loan has helped. Making the business a family activity with your children sounds wonderful! What a fine learning experience for them.
      Best wishes to you.

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  • keagan    Sep 14, 2013

    Hello. I am hoping you can provide me with an update on Mr. Kitsao. There have been no repayments since May and that was in the amount of .01.

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    • Violet    Oct 16, 2013

      Dear Keagan,
      Hello and how are you.Please accept my apology for taking long in replying .Wilson's phone was not going through but after some time I was able to get in touch with him.He is fine but he encountered some problems in his business.He supplied a customer with goods worth lots of cash and the client was unable to pay and this affected Wilson's business.We are working together so as to assist in resheduling his loan so that he can get back to his feet ,get out of arrears and continue with his business well.Thank you.

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  • Serene    Aug 14, 2013

    Good luck to you and your business. I hope that all goes well and that your second loan will help you to prosper in your business. Please let us know how everything goes. Take care.

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    • Violet    Aug 16, 2013

      Thank you Serene.I do appreciate for being part of my success.To all my lenders, I really thank you and may God expand your territories.I promise not to let you down.Thanks to Zidisha team,without you I would not have gone this far.Be blessed.

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    • Violet    Aug 16, 2013

      Thank you Serene.I do appreciate for being part of my success.To all my lenders, I really thank you and may God expand your territories.I promise not to let you down.Thanks to Zidisha team,without you I would not have gone this far.Be blessed.

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  • Violet    Aug 13, 2013

    Dear lenders, am so grateful for believing in me and encouraging me on my first loan.I thank you alot for trusting in me and I just dont take it for granted that I was able to finish my loan without difficulties, it was because of your prayers and encouragement.Secondly, thank you for giving me another opportunity for applying a second loan am so touched and moved for everything you are doing for me thank you kindly welcoming all lenders for bidding.God bless you abundantly.

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  • Violet    Jul 3, 2013

    Dear lenders, hope you have been fine.Am doing quite well although I have been quite for a while and I have not been able to update you on my progress in business.Nothing bad has caused the silence, its only that I have been so busy tied with work .I also have good news that I found a new shop and moved to it immediatly ,after elections and I have operated it for 3 months now.Am doing well compared to where I was before and I have also gained other business ideas.Before I was in Githunguri ,Utawala Estate but now I have shifted to Bypass road, Mihango Estate.Its a new estate and its rapidly growing.You may ask why I had to go that far, its because I used to visit the constructing sites around the area and I would be given work to supply materials.So I decided to move closer to my customers that I may also grow as the area is growing.I do appreciate alot and was so happy because when Tracy visited Kenya ,she and some board members of Zidisha came and visited me .They were my first visitors on the shop and I was so excited.It was my prayer that this year I may get a new shop besides the main road for easy transportation of goods especially on rainy seasons ,so I can say my prayers have been answered.I have also added stock like paints, plastic buckets and water pipes.Electric fittings are so much in demand there but I have not been able to re-stock but with time I hope I will.Best wishes

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  • Violet    Mar 10, 2013

    Dear lenders,am still doing fine and am grateful to God.Last month was a critical month since our country was undergoing elections but God has seen us through and the elections were peaceful and are now over.However business went on as usual apart from the election day on Monday last week since I had to go and cast my vote. This month I have only added cement, jerrycans and traditional mats.I had added enough stock on January so I did not need to stock much.God willing,tommorrow am planning to restock nails ,paints and brushes.thanks

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  • Violet    Jan 18, 2013

    Hi lenders, Happy 2013 !.am fine and am back to what I like doing best enjoyed my holidays and spend time visiting friends and relatives during the festive season.I had kept aside some savings and at least I managed to visit children's home and a few widows. I closed the business for holidays on 31st Dec and opened on 2nd Jan. I have not bought new items since December since I had bought enough stock on November.Am planning to re-stock few items on Monday.Some of the items I intend to buy are electrical cables,TV aerials,sockets,switches,torches and padlocks.I will also add afew bags of cement and nails.During the month of January most of my customers do repair work i.e,electric fittings,paints and cement are the things I sell most.Most months of January, business is slow but at least this year its different.Have a blessed 2013.

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  • Violet    Oct 30, 2012

    Hi lenders ! am doing fine and it has been a busy month.The season has been rainy and sunny at the same time.Due to the change in weather I have had slight bouts of malaria and cold but now am fine.I like it when it rains like this since most customers prefer painting on a cold weather.Since it is a dry area whereby water is a problem,most people take advantage of the rain and have water stored in tanks to assist in building.I also get an opportunity to sell mops because its muddy and buckets plastick storage 'mitungi'.This month am planning to stock cement and paints.I'll also add brushes in differerent sizes and qualities.Most of the colours that are fast moving are cream ,metallic grey,green. white,and bermuda blue.We have three companies supplying paints in this area and they are the best paints. However we are also having new companies supplying cement at a better price and at the moment we have five brands of cement which also have good quality.Am planning to stock at least three different brands in order to attract customer since most people like to buy where there is variety.
    Schools are about to close in the next two weeks and my son and daughter will assist in the shop when they are free.I will be able to buy goods from town and juakali areas while they attend to customers.They appreciate what I do and pray for zidisha team everyday.They like it everytime I get to tell them that I communicated with my lenders and they enjoy going through my profile with me.I have also told my friends about zidisha mirofinance and when they are ready they will join.As we come to the new month of November ,may God extend "uncommon favor" to you Zidisha team as a whole,I believe November is a month of God's favor much more because this is the month I was born.According to my records this is the month that I always have the best sales.Be blessed and may God bless you according to His richness and glory.

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  • Violet    Oct 7, 2012

    Hi lenders, am fine and grateful to God for having an opportunity to see a new month of October.The past three weeks have been full of challenges and sales were not that good.Its mainly because last month teachers went on strike and after two and a half weeks the strike was called off and children went back to school.On my side, this affects me since 3/4 of my customers are mainly parents and when such a problem arises they withhold from building until the children are back to school and they have paid school fees.Otherwise, since its a hardware shop I dont specify only on building materials but also with household goods like basins,buckets,ropes brooms and bulbs ,which at least I have to sell before the day ends.I also offer transport on wheelbarrows, whereby a customer will hire ksh100 per day.Most of the people who hire the wheelbarrows are charcoal sellers ,water suppliers and shopkeepers. Beginning this month sales have increased and at least now there is a flow of customers. Today I paid my first instalment and as from tommorrow I will re-stock brooms, basins,chicken feeders ,chicken drinkers and ropes.I believe this month will be fruitful as it started on well.I wish you a blessed month too.

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  • Violet    Sep 10, 2012

    Hi lenders, my business is still doing well .Last week Traci and Dan from visited my business and I appreciated alot.I felt that you not only fund borrowers , but also care for them and you enjoy seeing them grow.They encouraged me alot and took pictures of my business.I have a positive attitude towards Zidisha and in future I can see myself going far in business.The grace period you gave me has enabled me to have enough time to view new products in the market and to sell and stock the shop, thus making profit before repaying back.God bless you and am so greatful.

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  • traciyoshiyama    Sep 9, 2012

    September 7, 2012

    Hello, my name is Traci Yoshiyama, Zidisha’s Kenya Client Relationship Manager. I am currently visiting Zidisha borrowers in and around Nairobi.

    Zidisha has reached beyond the entrepreneur’s doorstep and has now become a family affair. Emanating a sense of pride, Violet Karwimbo smiles as she speaks about her two children’s interest in their mom’s celebrityhood among the Zidisha community. Frequently updating her lenders on the progress of GHEMT Hardware & Electricals, Violet and her children (16 and10 years old) often go to the cyber cafe together, finding joy in seeing their mother’s photo on the internet and her obvious success as a self-made businesswoman. Prior to becoming a Zidisha borrower, computers were foreign and daunting machines, but through the encouragement of her family, friends, and the organization itself, she can now use one without intimidation.

    Commuting to the hustle of downtown Nairobi throughout the week, Violet’s career in hardware began in a shop similar to her own. What first was a choice of convenience, for she was able to take her baby with her to work, quickly became a life-altering experience. For ten years, Violet slowly built the knowledge base needed to start her own business in hardware. Due to the shop owner’s decision to employ family, Violet was let go of her job in Nairobi. Despite this unexpected change of events, this transition set the path for her current success. With a savings of 20,000 KES, GHEMT was established in 2009. In its short three years of existence, the growth of GHEMT Hardware & Electricals is proof of Violet’s successful business approach.

    Introduced to Zidisha by borrower, Vitalis Opondo, Violet received her first loan in early August. Since then, she has been able to stock her shop with desirable and hard to come by plumbing equipment, such as water pipes. Wanting to make her store more aesthetically pleasing, Violet also put in new shelves, which enabled her to display her stock to the many passers-by. Having the opportunity to supply GHEMT with new supplies has increased her sales, for although there are many hardware stores in the area, most do not sell water pipes and fittings. As her name grows and sales increase, Violet hopes to move her store to the newly paved road in the town shopping center. She would also like to start selling mattresses, plastic wares (buckets, wash bins, etc.), and school trunks for students attending boarding school.

    Before our departure, Violet invites Vitalis to her shop, where another benefit of being a Zidisha borrower is revealed. Violet expresses that without her business, she would have never met Vitalis, heard about Zidisha, or learned how to use a computer. The encouragement they are now able to provide for each other is uplifting, and the avenues that Zidisha paves have proven to be endless.

    To view more pictures of Violet, visit

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  • Violet    Aug 17, 2012

    Hi lenders, I have managed to buy paints, electric fittings and pipes.My shop now has a new display since I have added plumbing and sanitary wares.I have used part of the money to rearrange and make my shop have an a attractive look.Thank you for making my shop a place where each customer desires to buy from.

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