Written by Alice Kaimenyi
Village HopeCore International enjoys acknowledging the inspiring success stories of our clients, who as a result of our loans and training have gone on to either start a new business or strengthen an existing business. Based on available data, we have been able to support more than 1000 community members since HopeCore’s inception through our micro lending programs. Additionally, our success stories help to demonstrate the positive impact that our staff and sponsors are having in the Tharaka-Nithi Maara Sub County region in Kenya.
Kenneth Ndiga – Arithi 3 Self Help Group
Kenneth Ndiga is 32 years old and has acted as Secretary for the Self Help Group, Arithi 3, for the full duration of the loan cycle. He is married to Fridah and together they have two children. Kenneth completed his secondary education, however his parents struggled severely to get him through school and therefore he was unable to pursue his education further than secondary school. Resultantly, Kenneth became a local tea farmer and after some few years of hard work, dedication and long term thinking, he was able to buy a dairy cow with the little money he earned through tea farming. After selling milk for a few years, Kenneth was able to open a small kiosk, which further compounded his monthly earnings and demonstrated a highly entrepreneurial spirit. Through his two businesses he was able to earn approximately 14,500 KES; 10,000 KES per month through his kiosk business and 4,500 KES from dairy farming.
Kenneth has always had a burning desire to educate his children all the way up to university because he knows just how important education is to having a successful life. Kenneth has also always yearned to build a bigger house and become one of the highest producers of milk in the community. However, Kenneth could not afford to achieve any of these dreams based on his initial two businesses, regardless of the fact that he worked extremely hard to do so. Therefore, Kenneth searched for different opportunities to get a loan that could help him expand his businesses and realize his dreams. However, all the micro lending institutions that he found demanded such high interest rates that they would make the loan repayment obligations too burdensome for him and his family.
In the year 2013, Kenneth heard of Village HopeCore International’s (HopeCore) poverty eradication program, after which he took it upon himself to mobilize and bring together a Self Help Group. Once the group became acquainted with HopeCore’s Micro Enterprise program, the Micro Enterprise team started educating the group about viable and alternative businesses they could get involved in and how members could invest smartly in order to better their lives. After qualifying from Associate Group status to Partner Group status in 2014, the group received a loan of 360,000 KES whereby each client received 30,000 KES, of which Kenneth was one of the beneficiaries. With the loan, Kenneth bought a new dairy cow and after nine months he started selling milk to the nearest local milk center.
By the end of the 22-month loan cycle, Kenneth’s monthly income from dairy farming alone increased from 4,500 KES to 32,000 KES, representing a 611% positive improvement in income levels. With this significant increase in income, Kenneth was able to add different types of stock to his small kiosk and transform it into a general shop, which is something he had always wanted to do. After adjusting and enhancing the stock in his general shop, his monthly income from the kiosk increased from 10,000 to 40,000 KES, which is approximately a 300% increase in income. Therefore, through HopeCore’s 30,000 KES loan, Kenneth was able to build upon his two businesses and increase his total monthly income from 14,500 KES to 72,000 KES (i.e. 397% improvement) in just two years. Kenneth’s loan repayment rate averaged an impressive 99.96% over the entire funding cycle.
With the profit Kenneth is now able to maintain after paying major household and business expenses, Kenneth is able to pay for all his children’s school fees comfortably; he has been able to renovate his house; and, he can easily feed his entire family with three balanced diets per day. Kenneth says all his dreams have been fulfilled since he joined HopeCore and he is forever grateful to the program.
Additionally, Kenneth said he learnt many useful skills and concepts that directly helped his businesses thrive through the training delivered by HopeCore’s Micro Enterprise department, particularly the module on business diversification. As a result of the training, Kenneth continues to dream big and plans to start selling more expensive items in his general shop. He is also still fully committed to becoming the highest distributor of milk in his community. Kenneth thanks HopeCore for positively changing not only his life, but also his family’s life too.