We believe that healthy, educated, and empowered women are fundamental to creating strong families, economies, communities—and ultimately a better world.
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José Gabriel Sausen
I'm not sure if its worth posting loans here? This group seems to be sort of ghost town lately :-p But thought I would anyway... Single mums that don't mention marriage or wanting/needing a man often make me feel like giving them a bit of kudos :-)
Take care everybody, Em.
hi Emma! I am new here -- what actually happens? we band together to make sure woman is funded? I was looking at the gal who needs a loan for a health clinic that was higher than most loans -- I've seen some for $6, but her is $325 or so and she has paid back on time in the past . . .
Hi Aluna :-) I'm the wrong person to ask hun... Kendra runs this group. The group I run is here: www.zidisha.org/groups/245
To be honest, I'm not too sure what the goal of this group is either? I love making sure good people get funded, so personally I like to share good folk... but I'm not sure if that's what this group is for?
If you want a bit more engagement both AfricaLeap: www.zidisha.org/groups/174 & the group I started are both pretty active :-) Definitely love to help get the good eggs funded, so personally I think its great if you've got anyone you want to share :-) The more people doing that, the merrier everyone will be if you ask me.
Hope that helped a bit Aluna... If you're new, welcome to the Zidisha family hun :-)
Hope your weekend makes you smile.
All the best, Emma.
You've got the basic idea of the purpose of this group correct. This group was born out of a personal challenge I made for myself when I first joined Zidisha to contribute a small amount to every female borrower who posted a loan. I believe that lifting up and empowering women and girls lifts us all.
I am no longer actively lending through Zidisha due to some concerning policies that have had a detrimental effect on borrowers, but feel free to use this group to communicate about loans you would like to see funded.
Please let me know what concerns? Also, what platforms do you use? Kiva? I use them too -- if you want my email it is [email protected] I'm very interested to know more . . .
Feel free to post loans you would like to see funded. I am not actively posting in this group much as I have pulled back from working through Zidisha as a microfinance platform after seeing how their methods have negatively impacted so many borrowers. However, others are welcome to continue to use this group as a communication medium.
This lass sounds so resilient, I had to post her here :-)
Hope you're all well, Emma.
I don't usually post in here... But I just had to this time :-)
One of my favourite young lady's to lend to, lovely miss Charity, has just posted another loan: www.zidisha.org/loan/loan-f...
She is one of the most appreciative & driven people I've encountered on here. I'm sure she'll be funded fine... But I felt compelled to post her to Women Empowered... I feel like she's a great embodiment of that :-)
Hope you're all doing wonderfully, Emma.
Thanks for sharing, Emma.
No worries :-) Hope you're well Kendra. Em.
It's been a while, so would it be okay if I mentioned another loan?
Juliet Ashiagbor is a 30-year-old woman in Ghana pursuing a university degree in Business Administration while supporting her father and younger sibling. She is seeking a loan to pay toward part of her university fees, learning materials, and materials for the completion of her thesis. (If some of this sounds familiar, it's because I've mentioned her here before.)
You can find her loan application here, as well as the feedback I've left on her previous loans:
Thank you and happy lending.
Update: She's funded! The original post isn't needed anymore, so I shortened it down a bit.
Thanks for sharing, Nakamura.
Anyone else noticing a very limited list of lending groups? Only 8 groups show up on the lending group page and there is no way to flip to more pages of groups. I had to manually search for this group in order to pull it up.
Looks like a bug to me. Edit: But Women Empowered does show up on that first page for me, interestingly enough. I sent an email about this issue to [email protected]
Update: Hearing back from Zidisha, it looks like this is a feature, not a bug:
"The Lending Groups page displays only a small number of results by default, but all the groups should be present if they are found via the search bar."
Seems to be fixed up now :-) I've got 7 pages of groups, which is probably all of them. Good to be able to see them all now :-)
maybe members of this team are interested to know what the new conditions (outrageous fees) for borrowers -- at least in Kenya -- mean and imply for borrowers:
"In fact I was expecting my business to expand with the loan but in stead I'm in a worse situation than before since apart from struggling with the business only, now I have to struggle with the loan repayment too when I did not even benefit from it. The membership fee was too much, contrary to my expectations "
@Empowerment: I like you new profile picture in the forum. That is the sad reality of what Zidisha has become for lenders! But of course only a small problem compared to what Zidisha has become for borrowers :-(
Her account is heartbreaking to read, ueberlisten. This is exactly what so many lenders have been deeply concerned about, and I hate that the people who are suffering most from these fees are borrowers like Jacinta.
So many lenders and borrowers have been trying to respectfully raise their concerns as a community on the Zidisha forums for months, and we find our posts continually deleted and blocked by the forum admins and Julia sends "Violation of Terms" notices to us via private message with no explanation about how we violated the terms. It is quite shocking to see a charity microfinance organization run with such autocratic and dictatorial methods.
An organization that is afraid of respectful dissent and must control its image through silencing all voices but the most aggressively complimentary is one that is truly weak.
apparently Z. has introduced censors also at a village level. The borrower I posted above was pressured by a fellow borrower (a "village mate") to delete her critical post...
Empowerment, as I can see from your profile, you are based in the US . Is there maybe some agency to which one can report Zidisha and their practices?
A fellow lender posted on another profile something about unconscionable contract (I'm not going to link here the post as I fear for consequences for the borrower, as that borrower, too, was complaining about the conditions of the first-loan.) . I found this definition on the internet: "In contract law an unconscionable contract is one that is unjust or extremely one-sided in favor of the person who has the superior bargaining power. An unconscionable contract is one that no person who is mentally competent would enter into and that no fair and honest person would accept. Courts find that unconscionable contracts usually result from the exploitation of consumers who are often poorly educated, impoverished, and unable to find the best price available in the competitive marketplace."
Hello ello fellow empowered women of Zidisha :-)
I hope you all don't mind me posting a loan, but there is only a few hours left for this lovely lady's 1st loan, and she sounds like such a deserving person indeed!
She's trying to set up a feeding program to feed the kids of her school :-) I really hope she gets funded, thought I'd try and help make it possible. www.zidisha.org/loan/feedin...
Hope all you lovely ladies are doing things that make you smile. All the best, Emma from Australia.
Thanks for the recommendation, Emma. I like your focus on loans to folks who are trying to better their wider community. Cheers!
No worries at all :-) Thanks for that, I'm sure we all try to fund the projects we deem valuable :-) I'm just glad she got funded, it was a bit of a nail biter. It baffles me when people really trying to make a difference struggle to get funding, while some others reach their target 9 days early :-p People are funny.
"Healthy, educated, and empowered women are fundamental to creating strong families and communities." Definitely agree! Wonderfully worded as well :-)
I'm not sure if the recommendations are going to get annoying, but I'd like to draw some attention to this loan that ends in 9 hours for a computer for his school. Sorry if the referral is annoying, but lets get this funded!
Hope you're well :-) Emma.
fees have now increased to over 130$ ?!?
Cost of this loan
Service Fee: 5% of $150.00 = $7.50
Cost to join Zidisha
Upon joining Zidisha, Cyrus will pay a lifetime membership fee of $10.05. Cyrus will also deposit $135.65 into the Zidisha Members Loan Fund
This means this borrower will get only 5$ -- but will have to pay back 157.50$ ?!?
This cannot possibly help anybody, quite the contrary: that's what loan sharks do!
It appears that Zidisha is trending toward practices that are excessively burdensome to borrowers, especially the very poor; I can understand why many users would think they are predatory.
In this post, borrower Alice confirms that she received less than $15 from her first loan and had to pay back $100 in order to become part of the Zidisha system and get a larger, second loan. She knew what the terms were going in, but felt she had no choice if she wanted to get help in the future from Zidisha. This kind of up-front cost is incredibly burdensome to so many of the most impoverished who don't have those kind of resources.
I have begun lending more on Kiva again, using the advanced search options to choose my interest rate. Zidisha has certainly educated me on important problems to be aware of in microfinance charities, but I prefer to work with a more stable, less reactive organization at this point.
Women empowering women, what could be better?
Has anybody noticed this? Recent loans in Kenya seem to incur massive fees. Have a look at this:
Cost of this loan
Service Fee: 5% of $100.00 = $5.00
Cost paid to join Zidisha
Upon joining Zidisha, Millicent paid a lifetime membership fee of $11.10. Millicent also deposited $33.29 into the Zidisha Members Loan Fund This was a one-time cost and entitled Millicent to lifetime Zidisha membership.
I consider such fees completely unreasonable. When I lend the money, I want it to go to the woman, not into this mysterious fund. Does anybody knows what is going on?
From what I have read, the Members Loan Fund is to help recoup lender losses from loans posted after March 1, 2015 that are never paid back or that have significant losses due to currency fluctuations. For example, if a lender deposits $100 but only gets back $75 because of defaulted loans and the like, the Members Loan Fund will reimburse the $25 in the hope that lenders will continue to work with Zidisha. I believe there is a $1000 lifetime cap to the amount of money that any individual lender can be reimbursed from the fund.
Initially the borrower membership fee was supposed to be prepaid in order to cause joining borrowers to feel that they were invested in Zidisha and to not be as likely to take out 2-3 loans until the total loan amount was large and then disappear for good. However, this pay-to-play membership fee dramatically reduced the number of borrowers wanting to sign up because it sounded suspiciously like a lot of scams that ask for money with the promise of a big loan. So Julia nixed the pre-pay requirement.
Here are some more links on the subject:
Here is the description from the Zidisha FAQ:
What is the total cost to the entrepreneur?
Zidisha loans do not carry interest. The total cost to the entrepreneur for each loan is a service fee of 5% of the loan amount, to cover the cost of transferring and administering the loan.
In addition, entrepreneurs in most countries pay a one-time membership fee of approximately $10 - $12, which helps cover Zidisha's operating costs. Finally, new members make a one-time contribution of approximately $10 - $30 to the Zidisha Members Loan Fund, which is used exclusively for funding loans and reimbursing lenders in the event of default. These costs are paid only if the new member succeeds in raising a loan through Zidisha, and cover lifetime membership.
How does the Zidisha Members Loan Fund work?
Loans posted after March 1, 2015 are covered by a default reimbursement plan, which is backed by the Zidisha Members Loan Fund into which new entrepreneurs make a deposit at the time they join Zidisha. If a loan that is backed by the Zidisha Members Loan Fund falls past due on scheduled repayments (by over 10 days, and $5 or the value of one repayment installment, whichever is less), a "Receive Early Repayment" option will display in lenders' "Your Loans" page, as long as: 1) funds are still available in the Zidisha Members Loan Fund account and 2) the lender has received less than $1,000 in Zidisha Members Loan Fund payments. This option, when selected, will transfer that lender's portion of the loan to the Zidisha Members Loan Fund account. In return, the lender will receive back the full amount he or she had contributed to the loan, minus any repayments already received.
Thanks for clarifying it, Empowerment. Yeah, that was the impression I got, that the current fees are being charged in place of the interest borrowers used to pay us.
Hi folks, I wanted to recommend a loan to everyone. Esther Musyoka is a businesswoman from Nakuru, Kenya who has a business of typing up schoolwork and term papers for students and teachers in addition to her full time job of working as a secretary for an insurance firm. I have loaned to her twice before and had excellent experiences both times. Esther is very communicative and professional, and she has a 100% repayment rate on both of her loans; usually she finished the loans ahead of schedule. Her typing business has grown rapidly because of the capital she has received from Zidisha, and she has a solid business plan.
In this loan she is asking for a loan to help her pay off her tuition and exam fees so that she won't be locked out of her next semester. I highly recommend loaning to Esther.
Hi I just saw this, she says the deadline is May 12th, I hope they don't mind delaying a few days
I saw that detail, but I am hoping that the loan will still help her if she has to repeat a semester. :-) Her loan initially posted on May 7th and I'm afraid there just wasn't time to raise the funds and disburse them to her in less than a week.
Hello, I just joined this group. Would it be okay if I linked to a loan?
[EDIT: This loan is fully funded now!]
Juliet Ashiagbor is a 29-year old woman in Ghana now pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration while supporting her father and younger sibling. She is raising funds to attend her third semester, with 2 days and $180 remaining. This is her third loan, and she has paid back very well on her first two loans using her salary as an accounts and administrative officer.
Taylor Hanna, Zidisha's Ghana Ambassador, has met Juliet in person and speaks very highly of her. You can find Taylor's comment on the this loan's discussion page.
You can find the loan here:
Thank you very much!
This loan is pretty large, so I will leave the usual precautions here for those just starting out:
[EDIT: This loan is fully funded now!]
Sometimes even the best borrowers fall on bad times and are unable to repay. Even when there is clearly a good reason, the feeling of losing a large contribution can have a discouraging chilling effect on one's future lending. I call this "lending burnout." Therefore, after many loans, I have successfully kept lending burnout at bay by not contributing to any single loan more than I would feel okay losing in one go.
Also be aware that in my experience, loans tend to get more attention shortly before they expire, more so if they are almost fully funded. So if you feel like lending some extra cash to finish a large loan but you are also trying to stay clear of lending burnout, I recommend waiting until partway through the final day so other lenders will have a chance to contribute.
Welcome, Hope. :-)
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