213 installments • 87%
My name is Grace Akoth. I turned 39 years in March. I grew up in a family of five - two boys and 3 girls me being the last born. My mum is still alive. We lost dad last year in September. I thank God for sustaining her up to now because she has been my biggest inspiration and my source of joy and strength especially after the traumatic experience of losing my dear Dad.
I went to school at Lenana Primary and proceeded to Menengai High School where I cleared my O Level. I went to Jogoo Commercial College where I did full computer packages and passed with Distinction. Other than that I also did full secretarial and I passed as well. I proceeded to Nairobi where I did my Toeffl and SAT exams as I had ambitions of going to the US to further my studies. I passed well but unfortunately couldn't realise my dreams of flying out of the country. I went to Mombasa and did my Certificate in Counselling at Amani Counselling Centre where I also passed but due to finances couldn't get my Certificate.
I worked at Humanistic Counselling Centre in Mombasa for about one year as a volunteer after which I had to move back to Nakuru.
Coming to Nakuru and having no source of income, I opted for business career where I started with a mini-shop which did not do very well due to its location. I had to change to selling second-hand clothes in order to make ends meet and four years down the line I have maintained the same business. I eventually ventured into bringing ladies handbags and shoes from Kampala as I had tested the market and found it lucrative and sustainable.
When my dad passed on I had to relocate back to our rural home to lend support to my mum who is battling old-age related ailments. I had to close down my business and start life afresh at home. As they say necessity is the mother of inventions I soon realized I cannot stay idle for long without doing some form of business. That's when I discovered my neighbors having lots of honey but have no market. I decided to go a step further by doing value addition then market for them the honey. That's how Neema's Pure Raw Natural Honey was born.
The business is booming as honey is on great demand. However there are a few challenges here and there which can be sorted. For example transport, packaging materials, sourcing for good unadulterated honey etc
I did alot of groundwork as I sourced for good honey and did sensitization meetings on the importance of good quality unadulterated honey. This will ensure we have a constant number of clients who hopefully will be increasing daily.
The business is doing well and now am thinking of having my own hives and get into Apiculture full time.
That's where I need my Zidisha Family to come in and help. I have a one-acre farm that the specialist said can host upto 100 hives. I have no such capital as a hive costs about $100 to make and set up.
I discovered the gem that is online marketing. That is where I have gotten my clients upto almost 95%. For me to do this I opened a facebook page which I manage called Nakuru County Business Mums. This page apart from helping me market my products, is also open to other people especially women to market and buy products they need easily. This has been a major breakthrough for me and has made me stabilize financially.
I applied for the loan because I have an ambitious programme of setting up 100 beehives in the first phase and keep more when this will be done. I therefore would humbly request Zidisha family to help me set up the first 50 at a cost of $500.
Apart from making money I chose the business because is a natural environmental conservation method because bees help in pollination and also you need a forest for the bees to make honey. It's a venture that will help you make money and conserve and take good care of the environment as well.
Also honey is on high demand and the capital is affordable. Also it is not labour intensive and that means that I can easily venture into other businesses without harming it.
In a month my revenue collection is about $400.
My expenditure is about 370 dollars; Transport $120, Utility Bills $100, Upkeep $150 and my savings in a month is about $30. However, the revenue might change depending on the business and season. In that case the savings might be more or less.
I mostly use my savings for buying packaging materials and printing of labels. I also participate a lot in charity and church work. I have a project called Sanity Project that helps in sanitation matters for the underprivileged. What I do is buy sanitation products like Tissue papers, diapers and sanitary towels and take them to a home I have identified that has the need and donate the products. This brings me so much fulfilment because I know in my own little way I am making the world better for my fellow human beings.
I also love doing mentorship for young entrepreneurs and help them grow. Through my facebook page lives have positively changed.
Thank you Zidisha for such a wonderful platform and for lenders for having faith in me over the years since I joined Zidisha.
I have always loved trendy handbags for ladies because they are like hot cake. The bags will go well with the shoes I sell because noth have different amd appealing colors that can be easily matched - a trend that is so popular with the ladies.
The bags are in Uganda our neighboring country so going there we must plan atleast for a two-day visit in Kampala their capital city. A good quality bag costs about $25-35$ and more. So with about $250 i will get 10 pieces of the quality bags which goes for $40-45$ dollars market price. Going into the festive season of November and December, i believe business will be very good.
I plan to save as much to add more stock then move on to the next item on my list which is cosmetics. If the business works well i will be making $10 more every month this will increase my living standards.
Looking forward to a favourable answer thanks alot lenders and Zidisha for your continued help and support. I am trully excited to work with you.
Nov 11, 2015