This is Misheck. He is a businessman in a town located in the western province of Zambia. This is his story.
"My name is Misheck. I am 37 years old. I have four children; they are all under age 4. I run my own shop in a town that lies at our beautiful Zambezi's Barotse floodplain.
"I started out as a sugar sales boy. I would go to the Mongu depot to buy sugar and bring it back to my village to sell. I then managed to raise some capital and opened my sugar shop. Then in 2009, I got the opportunity to become a Zoona mobile money transfer agent. From the time I started offering money transfers in my sugar shop, my business improved because of the commissions I earned after every transaction. I love providing the service to the people. I feel that a business is incomplete without good customer service to make my clients come back.
"Even though my business has improved, I still face the challenge of not having enough money for my business. There are times when I cannot access my electronic funds because the bank network is down. When I receive the Kiva loan, I will use the money to make more transactions and not have to send people away or make them wait in a queue for hours while I gather the money to transact.
"I have a dream to become a government minister and continue to have healthy children as well as grow my current shop into a very big business. Thank you."
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.