Kasongo is a 33-year-old single mother with three children aged four, three and one. She runs her own Zoona mobile money transfer business in Lusaka, Zambia.
Kasongo has always wanted to operate her own business. When the opportunity came through Zoona she quickly took advantage of it. Access to financial services in Zambia is both scarce and expensive. As most Zambians live in rural areas, distance and transportation factors hinder access to available financial services. Zoona is a company that specializes in low-cost mobile money and other financial transaction services by propagating an open network using small businesses called Zoona agents. Kasongo is a Zoona agent.
Kasongo believes her community benefits from her business in a very positive way because the service she provides is faster compared to other money transfer services and more often has enough cash to pay out receiving customers. Kasongo is requesting for her first Kiva loan to purchase her trading booth outright, allowing her to own a portable storefront and be able to eliminate her current rental payments.
Kasongo has many dreams for her future, she hopes to take her children to good schools. She also hopes to employ people to help her at her shop as she currently operates the business alone.
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.