By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Philip Kibiwott Chelilim was born and raised in the small town of Turbo, Kenya, not far from the city of Eldoret. As a young adult, he was educated at Moi University and earned his degree in Finance.
He vulnerably shares, ‘I overcame hardship through learning to be self dependent through looking for other avenues of earning income and I managed to achieve this through being self employed; starting my own business.’
Using his own personal savings, Philip decided to venture into the world of entrepreneurship. More specifically, he earns his living making wood furniture which he then sells to a large customer base consisting of: individuals, schools, offices, hotels, restaurants, and hospitals.’
Catering to such a wide variety of customers has been a great strategy for Philip, allowing him to spread his brand awareness throughout his own community and serving many customers and businesses in the process.
Philip succinctly explains, ‘I started my business in 2014 when I was still in the University. These goods are in huge demand because institutions and individuals cannot do without them and are part and parcel of their daily lives and operations. I chose this kind of business because of its feasibility and sustainability economically.’
In terms of monthly typical business costs, Philip typically spends about $1,000 on timber, $100 on electricity, $300 towards labor, $20 for business permits, $100 on logistics, and about $100 for other miscellaneous costs. In general, he brings in a gross revenue of $3,200 dollars a month.
Through his business, Philip is able to continually reinvest in his business, as well as support his siblings by paying their school fees.
Outside of running a business, Philip enjoys spending his time reading novels and making new friends, and truly loves the sense of unity and togetherness that his culture exemplifies.
While he might be fairly new to the Zidisha community, he is off to a great start with an impressive 100% repayment rate for his loans.
With his first Zidisha funded loan of $15, Philip shared his goals for the funds as he explained, ‘With this loan I am going to buy a CNC router machine for 3D wood carving. This will enable me to make quality and durable furniture thus making better items readily available to the customers.’
Shortly thereafter, Philip was able to raise a second Zidisha funded loan, adding more timber to his business. Through this he hoped to increase his profit margins by 2%.
Recently, in March and April, 2020, Philip was faced with the problem that most business owners dream of, a surge in customers! With an increase in demand, Philip was able to utilize two additional Zidisha funded loans, for $175 and $297 to purchase additional timber. This included a huge order from a local hospital for 15 hospital beds.
Would you like to help a business owner like Philip boost their inventory and business? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read above dozens of other hardworking entrepreneurs all around the world.