Jean is 34 years old. She lives in a rented house with her eight-year-old son, whom she says wants to be a pilot when he grows up. Jean runs her own Zoona money transfer shops in the Kazungula and Kalomo towns of Zambia. Her business enables people to send and receive monies to and from their families and friends throughout the country. She says providing this service to people helps her pay for her rentals and son’s school fees.
Jean started running her Zoona money transfer business six months ago. Business is good and she says the one thing holding her back is that she does not have enough working capital to serve her customers at the desired time. She says this makes her panic sometimes because she constantly has to run up and down trying to find some money. As a micro-entrepreneur, Jean has found it very difficult to source working capital. She explains that she had gotten a loan from a Micro lending institution but the interest was too high and it almost collapsed her business. Jean is taking out this loan so that she can increase her working capital and grow her business by serving more customers. “This Kiva loan is the only chance I have to grow my business and am grateful for this lifetime opportunity’’ Jean says.
Jean has high hopes for her future. Her face brightens when she explains that her biggest dream is to see her business grow so that she can put her son through college and build her own house from the profits.
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.