Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Borrower Testimonials’ Category

“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it. ” – Marian Wright Edelman.

Fountain Junior School, Kawangware.

Fountain Junior School, Kawangware.

Faith Kamande, the principal of Fountain Junior School in Kawangware is the perfect embodiment of this quote. She is an inspiring woman with a passion for education. I caught up with Faith during a busy school day and this is what she had to say:

How did you hear about MYC4?

I heard about MYC4 in 2014 through the Premier Kenya, my loan officer who explained to me how the loan works.

How has the MYC4 loan helped you?

It has helped me in running the school. I utilized quite a chunk of the money in doing repairs and the rest goes into operations such as wages.

IMAG0284 (2)

Fountain Junior Pupils during their break

What problem were you facing that MYC4 have helped you to solve since you received the funds?

I needed funds to facilitate the running of the school, I needed funds for equipment, food for the students, wages for teachers, repairs and the like.

What would you like people to know about MYC4?

The rates are fair.

MYC4 empowers people to achieve their targets. I am grateful to MYC4 and Premier Kenya for the opportunities they give entrepreneurs who may have a vision but need some support to achieve it.

Would you recommend MYC4 to your friends or family?

Yes, I would. I have enjoyed a good relationship with MYC4 and Premier Kenya.

Would you consider taking a second loan once you clear this loan?

Yes, I would. I have more plans do renovation and a vision to expand the school, preferably to larger premises with a larger field for co-curricular activities.

Do you have any additional comments?

Micro finance and loans help run and grow a lot of businesses. My school has grown from a small school and I plan to make it even larger. I think education is important, for all children. It opens up their minds and gives them opportunities they might not have gotten otherwise.

 

Read Full Post »

Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere – Paul Ryan.

I found Patrick Ngamaini’s story definitely worth knowing. Patrick is one of MYC4’s borrowers through our provider Premier Kenya. I met Patrick at his little shop in Kawangware and I must say I rather enjoyed my talks with this vivacious and ambitious businessman. It is clear to anyone who talks to Patrick that he has big dreams for himself and his business. He tells me that his small beginning is not a hindrance to his dreams but a motivation to attain financial freedom.

Patrick at his shop in Kawangware

Patrick at his shop in Kawangware

How did you hear about MYC4?

I heard about MYC4 in 2014 through the Premier Kenya, loan officer who came to explain to my investment group/chama how MYC4 works,

How has the MYC4 loan helped you?

The loan I received from MYC4 has helped  me acquire the funds I needed to run my business. I use the funds to buy my stock of consumer goods which i restock frequently because they are fast moving items.

What problem were you facing that MYC4 have helped you to solve since you received the funds?

One problem I was facing was the lack of ready and available capital to run my small business especially with the stringent borrower demands that large financial institutions have put in place. These requirements usually do not favour us small entrepreneurs. However, since I received my funds I have been able to effectively run my shop and fulfill my customers needs.

Have the funds you borrowed increased your profits or income, and have you employed anyone?

Since I received the funds my business has been running well and I have a fair source of income.. The funds have allowed me to continuously have stock and continuously make sales. In my business of selling consumer goods especially on a small scale as I am currently doing, the profits do not immediately reflect, but with continued sales, I will eventually have a tidy sum. Currently, I cannot afford to employ anyone but I hope to be able to soon.

What did you like about MYC4? What is the experience of working with MYC4?

The one thing I have liked in the short time I have worked with MYC4, is that the funds were received within my preferred time-frame and I did not have to wait for an overextended period. Additionally the interest rate is fair and the duration given to make repayments is reasonable.

What would you like people to know about MYC4?

I would like to let people know that MYC4 helps many men and women to boost their small businesses. Whether you are starting or already running a small business and you have little funds, do not be discouraged, MYC4 can help you make your business dreams a reality.

Would you recommend MYC4 to your friends or family?

Definitely. Other than my group members, I also know of some men and women here in Kawangware as well who are benefiting from MYC4 loans.

Would you consider taking a second loan once you clear this loan?
I would. I would like to grow my business even more and possibly relocate to a bigger space, stock more goods and  and eventually hire people to help with sales. If my business grows bigger, I would like to venture into other bigger, business industries such as real estate and transportation.

Do you have any additional comments?

I would like to thank MYC4 for the opportunity they give business people such as myself. MYC4 empowers us to grow and develop as people as well as business people and we urge you to continue supporting entrepreneurs. I would urge MYC4 to add more funds to trusted borrowers and to additionally finance investment groups as a whole.

Read Full Post »

It is said that a man only needs two pairs of shoes, a pair of decent black shoes and a pair of Chuck Taylors.

Chuck Taylor shoes

Chuck Taylor shoes…… Photo credit: http://geoffreygoldberg.com

There’s a famous quote by the renown actress Marilyn Monroe that says “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.”

I was in Kawangware, Nairobi last week where I met Margaret Kalumu Mwinzi. Maragret is one of our MYC4’s borrowers through our provider Premier Kenya. Margaret runs a small shoe business of women, men’s and children’s shoes. Margaret is able to earn herself a good weekly income to help take care of her family’s needs.

Margaret Kalumu at her shoe shop in Kawangware, Nairobi.

Margaret Kalumu at her shoe shop in Kawangware, Nairobi.

I noticed that Margaret sells more than just a few pairs of Chuck Taylors so there might be some truth to the saying that men do need a pair in their closet. Chuck Taylors are considered unisex, so this applies to women as well. When it comes to women needing to own a pair, famous French designer Christian Louboutin known for his high-heeled, red bottom shoe design, would disagree , but that is a story for another day.

Margaret's shoes for sale in Kawangware

Margaret’s shoes for sale in Kawangware

Margaret started the business with her personal savings. She buys her shoes from Gikomba market in Nairobi. When she started out the business, she mainly sold children shoes. However, she has now diversified her stock and included men and women’s shoes. She says that during the festive season, which was two months ago in December, she made sure to have a large stock of women’s shoes as women tend to spend more during this time.

How did you hear about MYC4?

I heard about MYC4 in 2014 through the Premier Kenya, loan officer who came to explain how MYC4 works,

How has the MYC4 loan helped you?

The loan I received from MYC4 has really helped improve my life. It has enabled me to buy more stock, I increased my stock in number as well as variety. The funds helped me to add men and women’s shoes to my stock that was mostly children’s shoes. This has really been a positive step towards growing my business.

In my personal life, as a single mother, it has enabled me to educate my children. One of my children recently finished secondary school and I look forward to them joining university this year. The funds have also directly and directly contributed to my living expenses helping me to provide for myself and my dependants.

What problem were you facing that MYC4 have helped you to solve since you received the funds?

One problem I was facing was the lack of available capital to increase my stock, with the difficulty of acquiring capital within a reasonable duration, I could not meet my customers demand. However, since I received my funds I have been able to fulfill my customer demands.

Have the funds you borrowed increased your profits or income, and have you employed anyone?

Since I received the funds my business has become more fulfilling and satisfying. The funds have allowed me increase my stock hence increasing my sales and profits. I have a few people I employ on a temporary basis to clean the shoes as well as help me transport them.

What did you like about MYC4? What is the experience of working with MYC4?

The one thing I have liked in the short time I have worked with MYC4, is that the funds were received within my preferred time-frame and I did not have to wait for an overextended period. Additionally the interest rate is fair and the duration given to make repayments is reasonable.

What would you like people to know about MYC4?

I would like to let people know that MYC4 is a vehicle that helps many men and women to boost their small businesses, so far I have been able to grow my business since I started getting loans from MYC4. No one is too poor to achieve their dreams through financial freedom.

Would you recommend MYC4 to your friends or family?

Definitely. I know of some men and women with their business here and inside the neighbouring Kawangware market that are already benefiting from MYC4 loans and I would recommend it to those who are yet to.

Would you consider taking a second loan once you clear this loan?
I certainly would. I would like to grow my business even more and possibly even open a few more shops and eventually hire people to do the sales as well as running the business. You know, I do not have to just sit here and sell these shoes, I could be the one calling the shots while I have hired people to sell my goods for me.

Do you have any additional comments?

I would like to thank MYC4 for the opportunity they give business people such as myself. MYC4 empowers us to grow and develop as people as well as business people and we urge you to continue supporting entrepreneurs.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

The uniforms have seen better days, but they receive education because of one devoted person, Edna, the teacher. It’s Bayollah Malesi from MYC4 to the left

 

We have all seen pictures from remote African villages of teachers standing in the shade of a tree with kids sitting around him or her in the dust, and if they are lucky there’s even a blackboard. And we like what we see, because we see hope.

And that’s what I saw when I visited Great Dreams Academy. Don’t let the impressive name fool you, because we are only one step up from the teacher under the tree. Great Dreams Academy is actually a church in Kawangware, a neighborhood in Nairobi. It doesn’t look like much, walls and roof made of steel plates. The inside isn’t that impressive either, one room divided by rugs hanging from the roof in order to have four “classrooms”. There are a few desks, books are nowhere to be seen, because they don’t have any (or very few). What is impressive though are the students and the teacher, Edna Nyangazi. I’ve been to quite a few schools in my part of the world (Denmark), but I’ve never witnessed this kind of discipline. They were quiet when told to be, they even sang for me and the other two accompanying me, Bayollah Malesi from MYC4’s Nairobi office and Hellen Awino from SISDO, Smallholder Irrigation Scheme Development Organization, which  provides financial services such as microloans. We went there to see what a little money can do.

Because money is needed, Edna doesn’t really get paid. It all depends on how much the parents can afford, some of them pay 150-200 Kenyan Shillings (app. two dollars) a months. Did I say parents? Now that’s another story, because many of the children are orphans and live with relatives.  And only a few of them pay for schooling, which means that Great Drams Academy and Edna depend on charity, volunteer work and loans.

Edna teaches math, English, Kiswahili, science, creative arts and environmental awareness.

– I couldn’t make it without a loan from SISDO, Edna says, who started the school which has four classes and a fifth to come, hopefully, if a new loan is granted and a new building can be added.

It doesn't take much to make a school, but textbooks would be nice to have.

It doesn’t take much to make a school, but textbooks would be nice to have.

Great Dreams Academy is a day school. Education begins at 7.30 in the morning, and ends at 4 PM. There’s no lunch at school, so unless the parents or relatives have made a packed lunch it’s a full day at school without food.

The biggest challenge for Edna is paying the rent. She pays 4000 Kenyan Shillings a month (app. 45 dollars). And many of the children have no textbooks.Her dream is to get a place of her own and not having to pay rent.

-I love children. My family asks me why I do it without getting paid, but the children are the first thing on my mind, when I wake up in the morning, she says.

It is encouraging to visit Great Dreams Academy, even if the school uniforms are torn and have seen better days, and the school is made of steel plates. I’m afraid that without a devoted teacher like Edna it wouldn’t even exist. So maybe it’s worth investing in. We saw that a little money can do a lot. They deserve a little more, so that their great dreams will not always be just that, dreams.

Read Full Post »

Nadia started in the poultry business in 2010 with 350 chicken. Currently, she has over 700 birds and most of them are layers. She is able to earn a good weekly income from the sale of eggs. This has helped her take care of her family’s needs. Besides poultry, Nadia owns and manages a braiding salon.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your business?

I come from a large family of 10 children in a small town called Ssumbwe, Wakiso district in Uganda, I’m the fifth born in my family. I started my first business immediately after I cleared my certificate in hair dressing. My parents had always been very supportive in my education; this made me feel that I needed to support them in paying school fees for my young siblings. I started my poultry business in 2010 which enabled me to support them.

How did you hear about MYC4?

I heard about MYC4 in 2013 through the Uganda Micro credit loan officer who came to explain how MYC4 works, during one of his many visits to our group. We were very pleased as a group to be introduced to MYC4.

What problem were you facing that MYC4 have helped you to solve since you received the funds?

One problem I was facing was the lack of capital for my business, with the lack of capital I could not meet my customers demand. However, since I received my funds I have been able to fulfill my customer demands.

Nadia UMF 1Have the funds you borrowed increased your profits or income, and have you employed anyone?

Since I received the funds my business has become more fulfilling and satisfying. Before I received the funds I had a problem of buying feeds for my chickens. Causing them to not rear eggs everyday, however, once MYC4 enabled me to get the funds I was able to buy quality feeds which has made my chickens able to rear eggs every day. This has enabled me to increase my income and also employ another employee.

How much time or money has MYC4 saved you?

Before I received the funds I was buying feeds in retail which is more expensive compared to buying feeds in bulk, when I buy the feeds in bulk the prices tend to be cheaper hence I save money.

Has the funds made your life easier?

Yes, the funds have made my life easier. After I received the funds I have been able to give my chickens quality feeds that helps my chicken to be healthy and produce quality eggs, this gives me more customers in my business.

What did you like about MYC4? What is the experience of working with MYC4?

The one thing I have liked in the short time I have worked with MYC4, is that the funds were received in a very short period, secondly the interest rate is good.

Were you surprised by any part of your experience with MYC4?

Yes, MYC4 has surprised me and my fellow group members. We have found it strange and yet interesting for the fact that our pictures, details, and the funding of the loans are all done online.

What is the most important thing people should know about MYC4?

People should know that MYC4 is a tool that helps many men and women to boost their small business, so far the women in my group have been able to grow there business since they started getting loans from MYC4.

Would you recommend MYC4 to your friends, families?

I have already recommended MYC4 to my sister who has so far joined UMF and she should be getting her first loan through MYC4 soon.

 

umf NadiaDo you consider to take a second loan once you clear this loan?

The rate of MYC4 is great compared to other Micro-finances in Uganda. But the fact that I received the money in a short period is what makes me want to get another loan from MYC4.

Do you have any other thoughts or comments?

Yes, I encourage women to join Micro-finance companies that have partnered with MYC4 to experience the change.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Growing up, going to the cinema was once in a blue moon affair for our family, on television there were shows unsuitable for children and most movies were broadcasted late in the night when most children were asleep. The only chance I got to see movies with friends was at school where we had one catholic priest called Father Richard, bring us free movies. Sometimes other people brought movies but we had to pay KES 5 (around 0.05 Euros) at the time, to access the movie theatre that was in our school hall. Sometimes we would go watch mobile cinemas that were brought to the village by missionaries, mostly during Christian festive seasons like Easter and Christmas. But mostly we would sneak into some iron sheet “cinema” near home where they offered all the action movies especially by Bruce Lee, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwaznigger. These were the best and to make matters even better, they had a commentator who explained to us exactly what was happening as we watched!

Today, children as well as adults are spoilt for choice when it comes to movies, most of them can access televisions which have different635156214289542149-1 (2) channels hence one can choose the movies to watch. Some can afford to go to cinemas while others can buy movies in DVD’s and watch them in the comfort of their homes. Still there mobile cinemas available, but best of all, the iron sheet cinemas still exist and continue to grow! The DVD selling business has also increased in most towns in East Africa. Sometimes the latest movies hit the iron sheet cinemas and are sold in DVD’s before they even premier in the main theatres, which is why people like them. The DVD selling business has created business opportunities for the youth (Though there are many who view this as wrong due to copyright infringement. Yet the majority believe the poor also deserve to enjoy the best at a cost they can afford).

On MYC4 we have people in this line of business, businessmen who bring entertainment to many homes. These businesses are usually stationed in almost every corner; from the town centre to the various neighbourhood, to the villages. One such business man is Modest Raban Sichone on the platform. He has been in this business for the last three years and the business has enable him cater for his family and has also improved his lifestyle. A business always does better with availability of customers, hence the reason he started the business, because he saw the need for DVD’s in his locality. When I asked one of the business men selling DVD in my neighbourhood why people visit his business he had this to say;

“It’s cheaper, while others are paying up to KES 1000 to watch a movie others are watching the same movies for only KES 100 or 50 in the comfort of their homes or in the iron sheet cinemas. If it was your choice, what would you choose?”

This however doesn’t come without challenges. There are low and high peak season, the competition is very steep especially from people with similar business and have DVD burning equipment. One also has to make sure they have the latest and most popular movies to survive, because when dealing with young people, as is the case for most of these businessmen one has to be diverse and have the current movies. Next time you visit East Africa and would like to see a movie, remember that you have a choice!

Read Full Post »

There are always people who are going to be better than you, brighter, more innovative, better skilled, more beautiful, more focused, the list is endless. How one uses this information is what really matters. Will you give up and let others dominate as you become irrelevant or will you fight on and leave a mark?

As if this is not enough, there are situations that could limit you and others could be obstacles to achieving what you would want to achieve in life. These could be in terms of poverty, racism, ageism, gender inequality among others. One does not choose where to be born, which color or gender to be, but we can mould our future such that we become what we want and live the lives we desire. It is up to oneself to make sure to remain relevant in whatever one does. This is what the members of Na Sisi Tupo, a lending group from MYC4 provider Fanikiwa Microfinance Company Ltd, are doing.

Na Sisi Tupo 1

Group members weaving baskets

Who are they?

Na Sisi Tupo, which literally translates to “We are also here”, is a group of five women from Kihinani, Zanzibar. They have refused to remain in the status quo and decided to stay relevant in their families and society. They wanted to be involved in the building of the economy of their families, help their husbands in paying of their children’s school fees as well as look for ways to own land and build homes. They believe that “two hands are better than one”, and that a good home is built by both partners. They know that contributing to their homes’ economy will bring more success than just waiting for their husbands to do everything for them.

fanikiwa photo This group was formed in 2007 with the aim of formalizing their merry-go- round saving scheme and to take care of their families. The first loan this group took was used to train them in handicraft making which saw them gain skills and knowledge that they use to date. They at first started by selling their end products which are mats and bags to friends and people around them. This has however changed and they now supply their beautiful products to a handicraft shop in Zanzibar that supplies to both the local and international market. The group came to MYC4 through Fanikiwa and borrowed €1,135 to buy raw materials such as sisal, threads, leather and fabric in bulk for mass production.

We refuse to live in the status quo, we are relevant; a positive attitude is important and when you believe in your product, then your customers also will do the same and you will go places!

In everything you do, in your day to day life, strive to leave a mark in people’s lives. It could be in making an impact in the industry you are in or simply leaving heart prints. Do not procrastinate, do not be limited, refuse to just sit, be relevant!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 235 other followers

%d bloggers like this: