By Betsy Ramser Jaime
‘For me my family means everything to me. I did not achieve a lot but I would like to make that possible for my kids. Am working hard to ensure they get the best education so that they can have a better future,’ shares Zidisha entrepreneur, Frank Mwenda.
Born and raised in Meru, Kenya, Frank now resides in Nairobi with his wife and 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy.
He explains his jump into entrepreneurship as he says, ‘I started my business in 2018 after the company I was working for closed down and getting a new job got tricky, I had to find a way to feed my kids and that’s when I got the idea of sourcing fresh groceries to bring to the city and sell to the dwellers at an affordable price since life is already hard enough.’
Today, Frank sells a variety of groceries including: tomatoes, onions, potatoes, green pepper and many others. With his business, Frank is able to take the daily chore of buying groceries, and does his best to make this as easy as possible for his customers.
To provide the best possible value for his customers, Frank prefers to focus his business model on volume rather than high profit margins. He also purchases his produce directly from the farmers rather than using middlemen, which means better profits for both him and the farmers, and more savings for his customers.
As a new member of the Zidisha community in 2020, Frank has already raised two Zidisha funded loans, one in May for $74 and another in June for $373.
As he approached Zidisha lenders for his initial loan, he shared, ‘Hello, I would like to apply for, kes 7150 which I will invest in tomatoes, I usually get the tomatoes from the farmers which is cheaper. I sell them door to door to my customers, this allows me to sell more and meet more customers. With the ongoing pandemic things are tough but selling food stuff is allowed and I can access the farmers to get the tomatoes and other produce, as am doing this am taking all the precautions to ensure am sure, hence my business is still running, and am sure I will be able to repay the loan from the income.’
A few months later, Frank successfully raised his next loan which enabled him to increase his stock of tomatoes, green maize, onions, and potatoes which are the most sought-after items from his customers.
As the pandemic continued, Frank has been able to find creative ways to continue doing business, even while following the government guidelines, as he shares, ‘With the ongoing pandemic I had to find ways to coop, that’s why I started home deliveries this ensures the safety of my customers since we agree on the delivery mode, to gain more customers I have advertised my products on online platforms which has given me an edge. I believe with the measures I have taken they will enable me to repay my loan on time.’
Would you like to help an entrepreneur like Frank get his or her business off the ground? Make sure to head on over to our Browse Projects page to read about Zidisha business owners with projects and businesses around the world.