This is 24-year-old Esther. She is friendly and works very hard to take care of her family. She lives at home with her mother, father and twin sister. She runs a Zoona mobile money transfer business in Chilanga, a town located 20 km away from the Zambian capital city of Lusaka.
Before running her own mobile money business, Esther worked as a cashier for a lending financial institution. She used her salary to take herself to school and obtained a certificate in Banking and Finance. Her experience helps her in the day-to-day running of her business.
Esther says her community benefits from her business of mobile money transfers because they do not have to travel to the big city of Lusaka, as they used to in the past to access financial services. She is very pleased with the business because it allows her to have a minimum income at the end of the month to pay for rentals.
Esther is pleased to be connected to the Kiva lenders and have the opportunity to access working capital support. She explains that even though she has been running her business for three years now, it has not experienced a lot of growth. This is due to the fact the she does not have enough money in her business to serve customers who want to send and receive larger amounts of money. Currently, Esther is operating with a very low amount of capital reserves. This is not enough because mobile money is becoming more popular and the demand for the product has increased.
Esther is requesting a Kiva loan so that she can grow her business, by adding money to enable her to serve more customers. With increased working capital, Esther is confident she can earn additional profits, grow her business, and provide better for herself and family.
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.