Laston is 45 years old and owns a Zoona mobile money transfer business in Lusaka city center with his wife. They live in a rented house with their four children and two of his wife’s sisters.
Laston likes to describe his business as the service of sending and receiving money from one location to another in Zambia. He started operating the business as a way to provide for his family and empower his wife. Laston enjoys the business because it is an opportunity for him to serve his community. He enjoys interacting with all the customers from different walks of life that do business at his outlet.
The reason for Laston’s loan request is his big challenge of having very little working capital to service his customer base. When customers want to send large amounts of money, he cannot serve them. It also makes operations difficult because he is always running back and forth to the bank to maintain enough cash to serve customers. This Kiva loan will enable Laston to more than double his working capital float and in turn, serve more customers. This will bring his business additional profit as well.
Laston’s dream is to take care of his family and educate his children. He would like his kids to have the education that he never had the opportunity to receive. Laston believes if he can grow his business this dream will become reality.
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.