By Betsy Ramser Jaime
After spending 10 years working for the World Vision organization, Gedion Nyangweso made the decision to follow a new direction and become an entrepreneur. Gedion grew up in Western Kenya and completed his Secondary Schooling in Kisii.
Today, he is married and has six grown children who have completed university and are living on their own. During his time spent with World Vision, Gedion was able to continually save money towards his dream, until eventually he was able to quit his job and work on his poultry business with his wife.
Gedion explains, ‘I work with my wife in the poultry farm. The Poultry farm has been in existence for over five years. We supply live chicken to the neighbors and also eggs. Due to consistency since we started we have a stable customer base. The business is profitable because there is high demand for white meat and especially the local chicken which is what we are keeping and also the eggs which are preferred by most people.’
Overall, Gedion has found that his two largest business challenges have been diseases and expensive costs of feed for the chickens.
As a member of the Zidisha community, Gedion has been able to raise 9 Zidisha funded loans since joining in 2015 ranging in amounts from $100 to $1,460. With each Zidsha loan, Gedion has been able to buy additional chicks, chickens, vaccines, and feeds. As a new entrepreneur, part of his vision was to be able to grow his business and eventually hire additional workers throughout his community.
As most entrepreneurs would agree, Gedion’s entrepreneurial has not been linear, with setbacks and frustrations along the way. In late 2019, he lost half of his chickens due to disease, taking a big hit to business in the process. However, he was slowly able to recover, sharing this update a few months later, ‘Despite the disaster of losing more than half of my birds I thank God for enabling me to service my loan. I’m in the process of raising another bunch of birds and goats. My maize fetched 10 bags. Thanks my donors.’
While the Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone, Gedion is continuing to work hard and do what he can to continue operating his business. On May 15, 2020, he wrote, ‘Despite the Corona pandemic God has been faithful and has kept us. We are just finalizing on cultivating our small shamba. My goat gave birth to twins which I have named Susana and Tito.’
Recently, in June 2020, Gedion raised $1,460 and shared, ‘This loan will enable me to increase my chick breeds which will give me 3 trays of kienyeji/ traditional eggs in high demand within my area. Also because of subsidization I am farming about an acre of maize. I will buy seeds, fertilizers, vaccines and harrowing and planting. I am also applying diversification by keeping animals. Currently I have six (6) goats. Two of which are now three months old. Corona virus should not be an impediment for normal life to go on. Keeping animals is an activity I enjoy because its Zero grazing. Chicken handling is also possible by keeping safe and following the government regulations and keeping distance.’
While the journey hasn’t been easy, Gedion has been able to show resilience and perseverance in every challenge that has been put in his path.
Would you like to impact the life of an entrepreneur like Gedion? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about Zidisha business owners around the world.