Meet Micheal Wamala, a soft spoken man from Uganda, who feels he is living his dream. Being from a humble background, he hardly sat on a chair while growing up – and the first chair he sat on was made by himself. When Mr Wamala was growing up he had a passion of being a carpenter; he had always felt bad for the fact that they never had any chairs in his homestead. Once he cleared high school, he decided to make a chair and that was the beginning of his life long career of carpentry.
Mr Wamala is a client of Gatsby Microfinance Limited. He has successfully completed repaying 3 loans and is in the process of repaying the fourth loan through MYC4. We had a talk with him and could clearly hear is passion for carpentry. When we asked him if he could think of starting another business, he said “if I would be given another life I would still be a carpenter”.
How did you hear about MYC4?
I was a member of Uganda Small Scale Organization back in 2010 where we were introduced to Gatsby by our leaders. Gatsby told us about MYC4 and even took us to classes to understand better how MYC4 worked.
What did you use the loan for? And has the loan helped you grow your business?
The first loan I added to the savings I had and opened my first workshop, hence I stopped being employed and started operating my own business. With the second loan I added my capital and hired two young men to help me in running the business. So far my business has really grown and I have managed to open another workshop and hired four more people.
Have the loans influenced the society around you?
Yes, they have. My friends have been motivated by the good work I do, and they have been asking me how I have managed to make my business grow and still have products of good quality. The loans have also influenced the life of my family. I’m able to support my wife and my three children who are in good private schools and I pay their school fees without any problem.
Have you been able to hire new employees after you received the loans?
Yes, I have been able to hire six young men who help me in running the business. Before I got the loans I was the only one doing everything at the workshop, and I plan hiring more to run the new workshop after repaying this fourth loan.
How do you find our interest rates compared to other MFIs in Uganda?
Having started working with MYC4 through Gatsby for the last four years I have never been interested in knowing how other MFIs charge their loans. So far MYC4’s interest rates work for me, I cannot complain.
Did you find any difficulties in repaying your loans?
In repaying the first two loans I didn’t experience any difficulty in repaying. The third loan gave me some problems, because one of my workshops burnt down hence coming up with the funds to repay the loan was a struggle. I managed to clear it and request for a fourth loan.
What are your future business plans?
My future plan is to build my own building to be able to operate my business in my own building and cut the cost of rent every month to instead put that money into the business.
Would you recommend MYC4 to others?
Yes, and in fact I have recommended my two friends and they are both taking their third loan with MYC4.
Do you have additional comments?
I would encourage people to do what they love in their lives because it is always a joy to wake up to do your passion in life. For those who don’t have funds to start a business I would advise them to join a microfinance institution and request for loans.