After completing his Master's Degree, Ezekiel found himself jobless and struggling to make ends meet.
As he searched for work in his field and continued to encounter closed doors, he started to explore the idea of starting a business of his own. The question was: what kind of business would he be able to sustain in his community?
Then he began to talk to Moses, a motor bike driver whom he depended on for transportation. He listened as Moses shared how employment as a driver had impacted his life. In Ezekiel's words, the story was "touching"--and it gave him an idea.
Through the Partners for Christian Empowerment Network (PCEN) in Makurdi, Nigeria, Ezekiel heard about the Ugbechi Savings and Loan program made available through Pleasure Travels, a Local Community Institution in the Partners Worldwide network. He applied and successfully received a loan of $280, and then sourced for additional $160 to add to the loan, using the funds to buy a motor bike for commercial use. His business was started!
As Ezekiel continued to look for full-time employment using his degree, he had income from his transportation business to support his current needs. After talking more with Moses, he offered him competitive wages and hired him as a driver in his business, creating both income for himself and better employment for his friend.
Now working to pay off the loan, Ezekiel has plans for expanding as soon as he is able. He wants to add more bikes, create more jobs, and generate more income for himself and those in his community.
He believes that his connection with PCEN and the Ugbechi Savings & Loan program through Pleasure Travels has helped him grow. He shares, “when we come here for meetings, we share with each other and learn. It has influenced and added to my personal life”. Ezekiel adds that the business has been helpful to his savings.
Through his business, Ezekiel has seen first hand the impact of partnership on lifting people -- himself and others -- out of poverty for good.