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The Loan that Brightened Bulaiton’s Dream

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]When Bulaiton Natison graduated from the carpentry class of our vocational training programme earlier this year, he had a serious ambition – to launch his own carpentry business. It was a dream he was planning to pursue. Bulaiton realized that setting up a small business workshop would also go a long way towards self sustenance. He had received a set of toolkits after he graduated, of course, but the tools were not sufficient to launch a full scale small workshop.

What he desperately needed was financial capital to make his dream a reality. Fortunately for Bulaiton our support to vocational training students does not end with their graduation ceremony. We also provide loans to help the students start small businesses. Bulaiton took this opportunity and obtained a loan through our small scale loan programme.

That was in April this year.

Without wasting time, the same week he received the money, he bought the necessary equipment to set up his carpentry workshop. He made a bench, bought timber and wood and went to work. Bulaiton’s business had kicked off. The man realized that running a business, however small, requires all the help one needs from other people. So Bulaiton decided to approach his grandchildren to help him carry out some of the basic activities at the workshop.

“I also wanted to teach them carpentry. You never know when they will need a skill like this in future.” He expressed. He took two of his grandchildren as apprentices. One of them, who is in secondary school and works at the workshop during the weekends, has already expressed a strong desire to pursue carpentry as soon as he completes his secondary education.

Although the workshop is still in its tender stage, Bulaiton has already started reaping the early fruits of the business. Last month alone, he made MK120, 000 with a profit of MK45, 000. The skills he is displaying at the shop are even attracting people from distant areas. The carpenter explained that he recently received an order for doors from a customer who stays 20 kilometres away from his village. The customer was inspired after seeing some doors that Bulaiton had made for one client in the same community.

“This man travelled a long distance to meet me in person because he appreciated my work. He placed an order for 3 doors.” He smiled. It might not seem as much but considering the price for a single door, this is one of Bulaiton’s big orders. The prices of doors vary from MK20, 000 to MK 35, 000 depending on the type. The doors that the customer ordered cost MK30, 000 each. That means Bulaiton would make a total of MK90, 000 for this single order.

Bulaiton is using the proceeds from the sales to sustain the welfare of his family. He has 2 children, both in primary school, and the workshop is helping in supporting their education. The case was different in the past since, the man confided, it was a challenge to provide for his family because he had no stable source of income. Besides that, he continued “I wake up in the morning knowing that I will have sugar in my porridge”. In a village that Bulaiton resides, sugar is one of the most expensive commodities and many cannot afford it. As such, sugar is associated with wealth thus the man is one of the “wealthy” individuals in the area.

A business without proper book keeping is as good as dead. Bulaiton explained that he makes sure that he keeps records of all transactions including a breakdown of the materials used for each product he makes. This, he said, helps him calculate the profit margins and keep track of the growth of his shop. Where did he learn this business skill?

“We participated in a 3-day business training workshop when I was doing this [carpentry] course.” Bulaiton stated “During that training, we learned calculation of profits, book keeping, costing and other essential topics that assist a person to effectively run a business.” The carpenter said he is utilizing the knowledge to operate his carpentry workshop. He is very confident that he has what it takes to enhance the small business.

At There is Hope’s vocational training centre, we understand that some of the students we train would be motivated to open their own businesses. As such, we provide business training sessions to prepare them in advance. Bulaiton is one good example of the graduates who are applying the experience acquired from the training.

Looking forward, the carpenter is thinking big.

“I want to take this business to another level and I see myself extending this small workshop to other communities.” He envisioned.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]