A loan of $6,625 helped to buy a maize de-huller and a maize milling machine.

Jonathan's story

Jonathan, 35, is an exceptionally entrepreneurial businessman with four children from Katete District, Zambia. He runs a wide variety of businesses in the district, including a local grocery shop as well as using his two vehicles to operate a taxi service. He is asking for a Kiva loan to buy an electric maize milling machine and a maize de-huller so that he can provide a milling service to over 2000 members of his community.

The maize milling machine takes raw maize (corn) and creates a maize flour which is the staple food in Zambia. Most families in Jonathan’s community grow maize on their small farms and store it and use it as their primary supply of food for the year. After the kernels are removed from the cob, they then have to be milled to create flour, which can then be boiled and thickened to make what is locally called Nshima. The addition of a maize de-huller creates a further refined flour that is in high demand throughout the region. Jonathan has operated a maize milling machine in the past, so he is well positioned to succeed in this business.

Rent-to-Own has done extensive research in Jonathan’s community and has determined that the location for this equipment is ideal. The closest competitor is 15km away, and since most clients walk or use their bicycles to travel to the maize mill, it is certain they will prefer to use this maize mill rather than traveling a longer distance. The addition of a maize de-huller is an extra attraction, as those wanting the more refined maize flour will be able to have the processing done in the same place as they have their maize milled. This will also draw customers from neighboring communities.

The high costs of equipment such as a maize mill and a de-huller are a major barrier, even for successful entrepreneurs like Jonathan. Once he secures a loan, Jonathan will be able to get both a maize mill and a de-huller from Rent-to-Own, which will deliver the equipment to his community, as well as provide training on how to use and maintain it.

With this maize mill and de-huller, Jonathan will be positioned to offer the only one-stop shop for maize milling in the area. He hopes to hire three employees to help with the day-to-day operation of the equipment. With this combination of equipment and his experience, Jonathan feels that he will be supporting his community with the maize milling service for years to come. This loan will help Jonathan build on his successes as an entrepreneur and build up what will surely be a viable business that can provide for his family throughout the year. It is for this reason Jonathan is asking Kiva lenders to help him with the loan so that he can secure the maize mill and de-huller as soon as possible.

Loan details

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Loan details