NEEF Loans and the Thrive of Small Enterprises in Rumphi

Zig Ziglar once said “Getting knocked down in life is given. Getting up and moving forward is a choice” these words are a true reflection of the life in business of Jonathan Kasonda who is running a Poultry business in Rumphi. He started doing business way back in 2007 and ventured into raising of broiler chickens for sale in 2019. His business is operated at Rumphi Boma and in 2021 Mr. Jonathan Kasonda took MK 1 million loan at NEEF though a group of 6 men called Fatsani Men Group which managed to get MK 6 million kwacha. 

Like any other prudent stalwart, he immediately invested the money in the poultry business to spur its growth. No sooner did he invest the money than thieves invaded his kraals and 40 chickens which were ready for the market got stolen. As if this is not enough, swine fever disease also claimed a large portion of his chickens and both predicaments affected his poultry business such he was left devastated.  

Just like great minds that have purpose and refuse to be tamed and subdued by misfortunes; Jonathan never resigned to fate. He restocked his kraals and he currently has more than 300 chicks that will mature in six weeks’ time.

Kasonda - small-scale poultry farmer defying challenges in Rumphi

Jonathan Kasonda told journalist that visited Rumphi on a media tour that he owes his business success to NEEF.

“NEEF loan has been of much help in my business and it has helped me to keep on going in business and there is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Kasonda.

The moratorium he asked from NEEF at the time his business misfortunes enabled him to flex his muscles and reinvent the business wheel. Now that his business is up and running, Kasonda has managed to employ a guard who is providing security at the place where he is raising his chicken. He manages to provide rent, food, and also salary each and every month.

Fourteen kilometers West of Rumphi Boma, there is Florence Chirambo who resides at Bolero Trading Centre, a fast-developing business epicentre. Florence has discovered the art of diversifying his ventures. She saw an opportunity in her neighborhood where there was no shop and for someone to access groceries, they had to travel to Bolero main market. She ceased that opportunity and started a grocery business where she also produces doughnuts for selling to the neighborhood. With the small initial capital injection of K600, 000, the prospects of the business growing were slim and this is where she joined a likeminded women group named Kupenja Club which applied for a loan from National Economic Empowerment Fund Limited (NEEF) in 2021. The group managed to access a first loan amounting to MK4.3 million from which Chirambo got MK300,000 and boosted her business.

Florence Chirambo - mastered the art of venture diversification in Rumphi

Kupenja club serviced the first loan without defaulting and obtained a second loan amounting to MK 10 million from which Mrs. Chirambo got MK1 million. This expanded her mercantile shop and now stocks hardware items, groceries, doughnuts and groundnut grinding machine such that the shop stocks have now grown to around K2 million.

The loan has enabled her to exploit her business ingenuity skills such that she is capable of helping her husband fend for them house and paying school fees for their children.

Mrs. Ellen Mskali is a business woman, who is running a clothes business in Bolero. As an enterprising lady, she started selling brand new clothes, and kitchen wear from Kyela in Tanzania in 2019. Faced with the prospects of the business, she managed to open a shop and also provides goods to those who press orders from her.

Upon realizing the need to boost her business capital so that she achieves her vision of owning a car and a big shop in the fast-developing area of Bolero, she, in 2022 applied for a loan from NEEF through Tikolerane Women group. In June NEEF disbursed K3, 850, 000 to the group and Mrs. Mskali managed to access a loan amount to MK 500,000 which she immediately used to boost her business.

Mskali- a micro enterprenuer at Bolero Trading Centre in Rumphi.

The business turnover is so lucrative that in a month orders goods of MK 500,000 and realizes a profit of MK200,000 from which she uses MK92, 800 to repay her monthly loan installment. This has enabled her buy food to ensure there is constant availability of food in the house.

Mskali still nurses ambitions of getting another higher loan once she settles the current one and advises fellow women who are just staying idle to grab the opportunity, apply for NEEF loans and realise their business ingenuity.

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