By Betsy Ramser Jaime
‘My name is Ibrahim Alimyaw and I am twenty-five years of age. I belong to a family of five siblings and I am the second born to my parents. I couldn’t further my education after the basic school because I lost both my parents and life was so unbearable as my elder sister was finding it difficult to take care of us. So I decided to enter into something that can help me to take care of myself and my other siblings so I was introduced to smock sewing and weaving.’
Today, his entire business income comes from the smocks that he sells. Typically, the smocks are sold wholesale to his customers and then they are able to go and re-sell them. Ibrahim explains, ‘This helps me a lot and I have been able to train apprentices that are working with me and help me to produce or finish work on time so that customers can get smocks to purchase whenever they want to buy.’
Since joining Zidisha in 2020, Ibrahim has already raised 5 Zidisha funded loans, allowing him to continue working hard in his business, even during the present pandemic.
With his first loan in May 2020, of $27, Ibrahim hoped to purchase a smock sewing machine. He explained to his lenders that this machine would be helpful in working speedily and producing a greater number of orders on time. This would be especially helpful in producing fast, quality work for his repeat customers, allowing him to build good relationships with customers.
After having a positive experience with his first loan, he requested a second later the same month for $46 sharing, ‘Hello lenders I appreciate your efforts for helping me with the loan I just repaid and I thank you for that. This loan will be used to buy smock materials that will help me to be able to sew more of the smocks and in quantities to be able to meet my demands of my customers that will help me to produce as many as they want and it will also help me to get profits so that I will be able to make repayment on time also. This loan will be purposely used to buy materials needed for the smock sewing.’
In May, Ibrahim was able to share with lenders that his home country of Ghana was not on lockdown because of Covid-19 allowing him and his workers to continue operating at their normal levels.
By June, ready to continue growing his business, Ibrahim successfully raised two more loans, for $135 and $378, enabling him to buy larger numbers of smock sewing materials, and of course, also allowing him to increase his sales and profits.
Recently on June 19, he shared this humbling update on his discussion page as he wrote, ‘I am most humble and appreciate you, my good lenders, for your support. This loan will go a long way in helping me to buy more of the materials needed for my smocks sewing and weaving. Thank you so much for your support.’
Would you like to empower a hustling entrepreneur like Ibrahim? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about other successful Zidisha business owners around the world.