At the age of 29, Owen is the proud owner of a small mobile money transfer business in the fishing and rice-growing town of Senanga. He is the first born in his family and has four siblings who all go to school.
Owen is a person who has grown in business. Before he had his own mobile money transfer shop, Owen worked for his father. He says working for his father taught him how to give customers the best possible service and how to develop friendships, both of which he says are important to making his business work. When Owen is not at his shop he is often found at church where he is a part-time pastor.
Owen’s business is located very close to the harbor. He says most of his customers are fishermen and rice growers who normally use his service to send and receive money for business purposes and for their children’s school fees among other things. He is convinced that his customers love his business because it is convenient to use and cheaper than other money transfer services.
When asked what challenges he faces in his business, he cites low working capital as the major one. This, he says, is particularly a challenge when he has a lot of people who want to transact with him. However he is hopeful that once he gets a Kiva loan, he will be able to have more money in his business and be able to do more transactions. This will bring him a lot of joy because it will mean never having to ask another customer to wait to be served.
Being the first born in his family, Owen wants to lead as a role model for his younger siblings by succeeding at his business, and earn profits which he can use to send them to school.
In the video, a representative from Mobile Transactions is interviewing Owen.
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.