“MICRO LOAN WAS MY EYE OPENER”, SAYS MILLICENT

“The phobia of starting any given business had engulfed me more than anything serious you could ever think of. For me, one had to be smart, equipped with great ideas and possess a handsome capital. This kind of phobia was nothing but a hindrance to a good idea that could have been initiated long time ago and perhaps would have yielded good results.

I wouldn’t say that as a slum dweller I was limited in ideas but the kind of context I stayed in and the people around did not really give me much hope as far as setting up a business is concerned.

A friend visited me one day and made a brief introduction about Home of Hope Micro- loan scheme and how it could benefit me. Business was my worst phobia so I gave her a cold shoulder. After giving it a thought, I decided to join her in the Small Business Development Program Course at Daryl Shenner School of Business.

Surprisingly, attending this course opened up my eyes and I came to a realization that the concepts taught here were not different from what I already had, the only thing I needed was to implement them. At the end of the course, I drafted a business plan of setting up a restaurant back in my Tassia Slum. After approval, I was advanced a micro-loan as capital to enable me start off.

A neighbour allowed me to rent a room next to her shop. I started by making tea and doughnuts every morning with an intention to target people who went to work in the morning without taking tea in their houses.

The first month did not yield much but towards the end of that the second month, people begun familiarizing with the place and I started receiving regular customers.

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There rose stiff competition and many other competitors opened tea making restaurants just next to mine. I became incredibly persistent and vigilant with a strong attitude that no matter what my business had to stand.

My savings enabled me add up my list of menu items with varieties. Within no time I started serving breakfast lunch and evening tea. This tremendously kept my consistent customers coming. I have always switched to new ideas in the event of stiff competition from my competitors.

Restaurant business is not for the faint hearted. What can be hip and trendy today is bound to be out of fashion tomorrow. I have made costly mistakes, ones that almost blew my spirit but yet I did not consider quitting.

For you to make it you have to outshine the rest; make good food, give quality service, be consistent and create a serene environment for your customers.

I have learnt to play the odds and offer solutions to my clients. The kind of training I had gave me tips and ways of making things happen for my business even when the going is tough. Thank you Home of Hope, because of you my vision came to fulfillment”.

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