All in the Family

By Betsy Ramser Jaime

For John Chomba, running his business is a family affair. By day, he is a primary school teacher, and works on his business in his free time. Fortunately, his wife co-runs the business with him and manages the shop while he’s at his day job.

John shares, ‘I have opened a small business with my wife. We sell different types of household items like sugar, rice, maize and wheat flour, some cereals, cooking oil, detergents and many others. I buy these goods in wholesale and then later sell them to my customers in retail. It’s a good business because one cannot stay without making a sale during the day. I fund it using the small income from my teaching job. I use my profit to expand the business. I am planning to start selling some of the products in wholesale like sweets, rice, sugar, sanitary towels and others. l would like to improve my shop now that our country is gradually reopening the economy and business will start to pick up well.’

Earlier this year, as the pandemic was in full force, John was able to raise funds from Zidisha lenders to keep his shop stocked and in operation. Between May and September this year, he has raised 6 Zidisha funded loans ranging from $6 to $587.

Through his loans with Zidisha, John has stocked up his shop with items such as, ‘flour, sugar, rice, cooking oil, detergent, plastic items, beans, maize, millet, and cereals.’

Because of his partnership with Zidisha, John has also been able to purchase new items in bulk, and take fulfillment requests from his customers, building trust with his customers as he continues to listen to their requests and meet their needs.

As John recently raised his largest loan yet, of $587, he shares how the economy is starting to pick up as he writes, ‘The demand for foodstuffs in my area has shot up. This means that the supply for foodstuffs in the area is low. I am taking this chance to supply. l will buy millet worth 20000, maize worth 8000, green grams worth 8000, beans worth 20000 and cooking oil worth 5000. I will also supplement my business with Nikos and plastics materials worth 2000. All these materials, l will buy in wholesale and sell in retail. Now the economy has opened in our country. There is circulation of money in the market. My commodities are fast moving products and I make sales daily. I also employed and I can use this income to supplement my repayment of the loan.’

For side hustler’s like John, having a side business is a great way to earn an extra income, especially during times of uncertainty. In addition, because of the trust and loyalty that he’s earned with his customers, he’s able to continually serve their needs and provide exactly what they need and want.

Would you like to make a significant impact in the life of a Zidisha entrepreneur? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about our inspiring business owners around the world.

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