Bright is a determined young man of 25 who has been running his money transfer business since July 2011. He wants to use his loan money to purchase a small computer to speed up his transactions and to employ two people in his shop so that he can serve his customers faster. He also wishes to use the money to increase his working capital.
Access to financial services in Zambia is both scarce and expensive. Close to 10 million Zambians, 80% of the population, do not have bank accounts. As most Zambians live in rural areas, distance and transportation factors hinder access to available financial services. Mobile Transactions Zambia Limited (MTZL) is an early stage company that specializes in low-cost mobile money and other financial transaction services by propagating an open network using small businesses called champion agents. Bright is one of the champion agents. This is his story.
When Bright first started his business his main focus was to get people in his community to know about the service that he provides. He started off by doing direct sales to customers in his community by distributing flyers and explaining his business to them in person. His strategy paid off because barely a month later his transactions had increased from a mere 10 transactions a day to 48 transactions a day. Because of the quick growth of his business he faces the challenge of working float (electronic and cash value of his working capital) which means he does not have enough working capital to satisfy his customers from time to time. He frequently has to close his shop and make trips to the bank to convert his electronic money to cash and vice versa.
Bright is currently living with his grandmother, who is taking care of five other people. He continues to work extra hard so that he can be able to move out of his grandmother's house and get his own place. In the next five years, Bright sees himself as a full blown businessman. He plans to open money transfer shops in two new locations.
In Bright's video, the interview is conducted by a representative of Mobile Transactions.
More information about this loan
This loan is a combination of the following:
1) Capital Growth Loan: an asset-based loan provided to both existing and new Zoona agents for setting-up or expanding their mobile transactions business. Part of the amount is an in-kind loan to enable agents to acquire assets for their mobile transaction business. For existing agents, the loan is designed to inject medium-term working capital assistance to purchase additional assets or expand to new locations thereby helping their businesses grow.
2) Electronic Float Advance: short-term liquidity assistance to qualifying Zoona agents to allow them to make mobile money payments when their electronic balance is too low to meet their immediate business needs.The loan is intended to provide borrowers with a boost to their electronic float to allow them to handle more revenue generating transactions and also give them a means to support transactions during peak demands. The borrowers will be able to draw down their electronic advance on a per-transaction basis. There are no monthly repayments, rather the borrowers will earn less commission on per transaction basis on the funds utilized from the advance.
Repayments will include fixed monthly repayments for the Capital Growth portion and a bullet payment at the end of an 18-month term for the electronic float advance.
Zoona is a mobile money operator that invests in emerging entrepreneurs in Africa who are transforming their communities.
In Africa, there is a tremendous pool of entrepreneurs, business owners, and young people who dream of making money and serving their communities but who are struggling to find the resources and support to reach their full potential.
Zoona offers entrepreneurs an opportunity to build their own businesses and create wealth and employment through mobile payment solutions, financial services, business management tools and support.
The network of Zoona outlets in urban and rural areas enables unbanked and financially excluded individuals the ability to transact in an easy, quick and safe manner with family, friends, and other service providers. This is a step change improvement in countries like Zambia, where the majority of transactions are still conducted in cash and are thus inefficient, insecure, and expensive. Zoona's unique model of enabling emerging entrepreneurs to provide mobile money services to consumers has the potential to significantly push the boundaries of financial inclusion in Africa.