170 installments • 81%
I am Joyce Gicheru. Many love calling me 'Joy' because I'm always smiling.. Born slightly more than three decades ago in a small village sandwiched between many hills. I went to school in the neighborhood and despite the fact that my parents were poor,I managed to beat all odds to excel in my studies.
Those days, only a lucky few had electricity connections to their homes. I wont say we were unlucky but we didn't have this rare privilege. The most memorable occasion was a day we ran out of kerosene and I had to do my school homework using the light from firewood. More often than not, kerosene to light the lamp and do homework was always a tall order. I still believed my dreams were valid.
I excelled very well and by God's grace,I graduated with a degree years later. I live and work in Nairobi,Kenya. Professionally a High School Graduate Teacher and a part-time businessperson. My spouse and I have some businesses. One dealing with supply of fresh beans to export companies the other is a beauty shop combined with new clothes and an Mpesa. In our bid to create employment and to expand our businesses, we were looking for extra funding which would fulfill our dream. After weighing several options and widely consulting from friends, someone referred me to Zidisha as among the best. Then I decided to give it a try.
I'm glad Zidisha gave me my first loan three years ago. I used the loan to expand my beauty shop,added clothes and put up Mpesa money agency. Through the profit I made,I was able to repay the loan in good time. I reapplied and got another one worth $800 that I used to further expand my business.
As a matter of fact, 2017 has been an economically hard year in Kenya and we had to push through with unusually low earnings. Sometimes it became hard to regularly pay the instalments but I finally made it to clear the loan.
I'm glad that I've transformed the area in which I work they're able to access basic house use items easily at my shop. They are also able to access financial services without travelling very far. I also stock school uniforms and stationery. This means that school children can access what they need whenever there's need. I'm also happy that I've given livelihood to families that rely on me. All thanks to God who has been my strength and Zidisha for the financial support.
ABOUT MY BUSINESS. My business name is EverThree Beauty Point,Clothing and Accessories. 5 years ago when I reported to my place of work,I needed to buy a few household utilities for my use. I had not carried any because I assumed I'd buy when I got there. Surprisingly enough,I could not find most of the items I needed. I was very disappointed. I finally had to solicit for a washing basin from my new neighbor to facilitate a few important tasks around the house. It was that bad! The following day, I decided to go to Nairobi and do the purchases,but I decided that for every item I needed,I'd pick a dozen. This meant I would get a better deal in terms of price. And yes,I did that. I picked all I wanted. I only chose a few for personal use and sold the rest. Voila!
I made money.
So now people would come to my house asking whether I had certain items. I had to open a small shop. That's how my business came along. I have currently employed two young ladies who I picked from some poor families around. Through this venture, I have been able to supplement my family's income, pay my two assistants,and I've made the area a better place than I found it.
I now want to expand my business to supply affordable solar products to this community.
Most of them struggle to get proper lighting facilities and also they have no place to charge their phones.
The package I want to stock has bulbs enough for five rooms, a phone charger, a 40 watts solar panel, a battery, smart TV, radio and torch.
To get and start using this package, they only need to pay a small deposit then pay the rest of the money in adjustable installments. Some pay daily, others weekly or monthly depending on ability.
Once they finish paying the whole amount, they own the product and no more power bills for them- forever.
I've already sold dozens of units and I need more stock to serve more people.
I'm glad I've put a smile on somebody's face as they can charge their phone conveniently, light their houses, watch news, listen to the radio and ultimately reduce their bills.
My joy can not be put in words when I want say thank you to the Zidisha team for the great assistance accorded to me towards my business.Through the loan that I got from you four months ago, I was able to expand my beauty shop business to include a wide range of school materials and uniforms.This has lead to increase in revenue by about 40% in addition to growth in the number of customers.
I have been able to use some of the proceedings to further increase my stock,cater for part of my family's needs and also to get my assistants a better pay.Our services are exemplary and our customers keep coming back for more.We always make sure our customers are smiling as they step out of the door.My initial dream is slowly becoming true .My customers are no longer traveling for long distances to look for basic items.Our prices are very affordable and this makes them happy.
Its true that most of my customers make their payments in cash when paying for the goods.With the coming of modern modes of money transfer,I have realized that majority have their money saved in their mobile phones. They often have to go elsewhere to withdraw cash from an MPESA shop-[this is a shop where monetary transactions facilitated by Safaricom are carried out.People do deposits of cash and others do cash withdrawals] before making their purchases at my premise .This is quite a wastage of time and highly inconveniencing as I see it.They have requested for this service many times.I want to bring this service closer to them.
With the U.S Dollars 630,I will use U.S Dollars 300 to MPesa acquire a Safaricom line that will enable me to carry out transactions.I will use U.S Dollars 50 to purchase a phone for carrying out the deposits and withdrawals.I will also use U.S Dollars 70 to prepare the counter and pay for labor. I will use the rest of the U.S Dollars 220 to add stock to my clothes and cosmetics shop since I need more items during the Christmas season as people do their shopping.
From this new venture ,I expect 50% increase in sales and profits because during Christmas and New year seasons there is a lot of shopping for the celebrations.There is also a lot of money exchanges as people send and receive money from and to their loved ones.I will use the profits to cater for my driving classes fees and also buy my parents a New Year gift.I will also add some new stock to the business.
I'm therefore applying for a loan to make this possible and facilitate that course.Using these funds ,I will be able to put up the shop to satisfy my customer's needs.I will be posting the pictures of this awesome beauty shop that has changed the face of this small town.
Thank you in advance as I wait for a positive response.
Dec 22, 2014
Cost to entrepreneur
Lender interest: $645.16 at 6.70% annual rate over 6 months = $22.33
Service fee: $12.32