Project Updates

Browse Projects

Inventory of school uniforms for sale

My name is Kerry and I am a Client Relationship Intern for Zidisha in Kenya. I have been stationed in Nairobi and meeting borrowers there, but for the week I've decided to leave the capital city and head to the most important coastal city of Kenya, Mombasa. That is where I met Ivy, a young mother who specializes in selling uniforms to schools.
Ivy just gave birth to a beautiful boy three weeks ago. He was born about three weeks premmature, so when I visited Ivy she had only recently left the hospital. She said that bay Aiden could practically fit in her one hand. Now he's healty and growing fast. I was invited into her home that she shares with her mother and brother, who have both been a big help, especially since her boyfriend works in Nairobi to help support the family. She is taking a small hiatus from her business or a maternity leave, but she sat down to talk to me about how it began.
Ivy is only 22 years old and after secondary school, she began selling used clothes.It was challenging sine when you purchased inventory all you knew about the clothes before buying them was what type of article of clothing it was. They came in large bails labeled "shirts" or "trousers" and you could only see the contents after purchasing. Ivy performed well though, and with the help of Zidisha she was able to purchase the bail. The shirts that didn't sell she sold to an Aunt in the village, and with the profits was able to rent a cabana for a business location.
Ivy's mother was the one to inroduce her to Zdisha. She has had a salon in downtown Mombasa for many years. She came to the house to meet me and generously bought Fanta for the occassion. She is very well dressed and is beaming from being a proud grandmother.
With the second loan Ivy decided to branch out into selling school uniforms. She began approaching private schools and securing small contracts to provide the school uniforms for the year. I asked her how she did this, and she told me "you have to be confident." After securing contracts, Ivy then goes to a trusted local tailor to make the uniforms. With the profits she has reinvested in the business and helping to pay the medical and other costs of having a new born. Ivy is optimistic and hopes that within about three months she will be at it again, when the baby is slightly older. After getting to now her, I have complete faith that this business will expand and she had her young family will do well. She has a great support netowrk with her mother an brother. I'm looking forward to following Ivy, especially since we are now friends on facebook!

Solar lamps

Hi Zidisha team,let me take this time to thank you all for the loan you gave.I must say that the money that you lend has got a greate impact in my life,my family and the society at daily earning has been increased because I used the loan fund to purchase some lamps and the venders were happy to see some new lamps.these are the pictures of the lamps I bought and asmall video captured during the day when the lamps are beeing charged with the sun,by blinking of the lamp means it is taking charge.thank you again.

Hi, I am Aissatou Traore a member of zidisha comminuty since 2010. I work entreprenarialship whith a American company whose name is FOREVER LIVING PRODUCTS and I am happy in my business. I help many people to achieve theirs dreams. In 2014 I build a house for my mother in my region because this is my promess whith my loan of zidisha and I work very hard to realize this dream. It is one part of my life

Purchase of inventory for my retail shop

Apart from paying my installments in time i have been in a position to clear my tuition fees for my First semester yesturday. Am now sure i will sit for my exams in April without a problem.

as for my second semester fees i have raised a quarter of the amount it will run from May to August. Am happy Zidisha has helped me by increasing sales volume through the inventory i added. my profits have also grown.

Am hoping to clear my last installment in time so that i may borrow another loan and from the proceeds generate my remaining fee for my second semester by May God willing.

A special thanks to my lenders.

Thank you

Loan to settle leased land and plant

I used the previous loan to till a small piece of land I was allocated at home and planted a few cash crops which did fairly well despite the less rainfall.
The produce from the farm has helped me lease a small piece of land from the neighbor and I also supplied a nearby children's home with food.
Over time my earnings have increased from 100 $ a month to around 250 $ a month.
I have also been able to employ two young energetic boys who help me run the game center and during farming. Both of them work for me full time.
During my free time I happen to go to scout camps and a times visit the children's home and play with the kids there,they are amazing young people.
With the help of anew loan,I will settle off the remaining amount for leasing land and start cultivating it as soon as dark clouds are up the sky.
Thank you Zidisha.

Computer training college

this is the grace zidisha showered my business with

For the boosting up of the stock for the new branch

I am very happy to inform and appreciate all lenders for the good idea and wise thoughts of coming with these community loan. Through the previous loan have managed to create eight employment opportunities whereby two are casuals and four are permanent, two on contract basis, however, have managed to increase the weekly selling, meet customers demand, operate the shop efficiently, purchase some stock(chemicals) and lower the selling prices for our products to meet the market competition and reduce the costs of production and distribution, buying one motorbike for distributions and my profit and savings are positively increased, good.

Seed, fertilizer and fencing to grow maize and kale

lots of thanks to my beautiful lenders am half way funded and happy.

Grocery shop

I am very greatful to my lenders, I invested the money into my food shop.
My trading capital is up, the stock is also up now neighbors can get whatever they need.
My family are so happy

Buying photo frames for photo/video business

My photo in studio

Additional kerosene stock

Hi Mathews,
Its fantastic that you are undergoing training, you can never know too much about business.
Next thing is to think about how to raise the profit by 10%, then 15%...
For the support, Karibu Sana!

Loan to help pay fees for tuition & residence hall on campus

Dear Lender, (Hope?)

After meeting with a few of his roommates, I had the chance to sit down with Isaac last week in Legon at his residence hall near the University of Ghana. Public universities in Ghana are highly competitive and only admit students at the top of their class, academically and need or merit-based scholarship opportunities are limited or virtually nonexistent for would-be students. So he may be too modest to tell you but just being admitted and self-financing his education is evidence of Isaac’s drive.

Although his parents have been very supportive of his journey, Isaac didn’t have access to computers at home. The middle child of three, his mother sells provisions on the street and his father owns a bicycle repair shop. Growing up, his family couldn’t afford much in the way of technology. Isaac was first introduced to computers in school. But he made up for lost time by making the computer lab his second home – the instructors would teach him in off hours and let him practice taking apart and repairing the machines. Now, he says, “Computers are my passion… my calling.”

Isaac used his first Zidisha loan to pay housing fees at the residence hall. During his first semester commuting to classes from his parents’ home, he would often find himself in traffic for up to two hours in each direction, causing stress over being late to class or work, losing valuable study time, and preventing him from taking part in extracurricular activities. Since receiving his Zidisha loan, he moved into an airy dorm with three roommates (also Zidisha borrowers) and is just a short walk from class. Jean Nelson Hall consists of four stories of rooms surrounding a sunny rectangular courtyard with a basketball court and outdoor café. Residence halls make up their own small communities - each have unique personalities and rivalries and compete against each other in intramural sports. When I visit, students are reading and hanging their laundry to dry in the sun.

With three years left to finish his degree, Isaac wants to focus on his education while he has the chance – soaking up as many technical skills and programming languages as he can. He’s interested in programming and database management and dreams of a job at Microsoft. He hopes to use future Zidisha loans to continue to pay his school fees and to buy a faster computer that can handle his heavy use.

It was wonderful to get to meet Isaac and see his residence hall – all that talk about classes and student life made me want to go back to university! He is incredibly grateful for the support he has received through Zidisha and he is excited to continue his education.

Isaac – thank you so much for taking the time in between lectures and work to chat with me. We wish you the best with your schooling and career!

Thank you,

Ghana Country Ambassador

Additional kerosene stock

Hi Michael,
Am still soldering on with the business and am seeing good progress,i managed to get 10 dollars-830 KES profit this week and this translated to increase of the profit by 5%, am planning to undergo atraining in accounts and finance skills to enable me get acquinted to cash management in the business for future prosperity.
Thank you once again for your continued support.

To expand my poultry business.

Dear lenders,

The pictures below are not so clear because i have taken them with my phone camera which is not that clear but they can show my progress thus far on breeding broilers. These are my chicks which i intend to feed for the next 6 months for them to gain good weight for better sales.

Thanks in advance for your kind contributions to my loan.

Purchasing photocopier and camera for cyber cafe

After getting my first loan of 50dollars, i bought a number of plastic chairs and ensured that my clients were well sited and have enough space.

Loan to stock my african womens cloth materials

At the market selling my lessos and womens bras and material.

Egg wholesaler

My loan was very successful thank you to all zidisha lenders.As i had budgeted for my loan i managed to purchase extra trays which improved my weekly profit by an extra $60.This has boosted confidence to the customers and lowered my out of stock costs.The earnings i acquired helped me to pay my university 1st installment fee which was due last month.I have also inspired my friends by opening and sustaining a new branch thanks to zidisha.I also have created a permanent employment for the young lady and young man in Mtwapa.I can now manage to take my family once atleast once a month.

Purchase of laptop housings for resale to enhance income

With the loan I was able to get a HP 1510 deskjet which I have already started using at my business and it generating an extra income as am now typing and printing projects for university students who are in their final year and also doing some photocopies beside repairing laptops at my shop.I really do appreciate the lenders for this and pray for God's blessings upon them all.

Buy goat to increase my livestock


One of the sheep we had for the Christmas last year.
It was great indeed.

Loan to buy seeds for french beans produce for export

Dear Lender,
Thanks alot for your support,this is a result of your top up.Timely delivery of the eggs and an increased purchase order.We always say in our language,Asante Sana(Thank you very much).

Solar power

My name is Kerry Tiedeman and I am a Client Relationship Intern for Zidisha in Kenya. Normally I am staying and visiting borrowers in Nairobi, however this week I am Mombasa, Kenya to visit some of our borrowers in this vibrant coastal city.

Today I had the opportunity of meeting with John Bosco, a first time borrower of Zidisha, who is working on fundraising for his first loan. John actually has strong ties to Nairobi. He went to University there where he studied business, and also where he met his friend and the manufacturer of men's shoes he purchases and later sells in Mombasa.

I met John with his volunteer mentor, Margaret Julliet. The three of us met over coffee, fanta and mango juice at a local cafe in the center of town. John works as a Microfinance field officer here in Mombasa. He worked his way up by first working at an MPESA shop (the phone money transfer service) and later as an insurance agent in Nairobi, until finding this opportunity in Mombasa. John is pleased with his progress in business, but would like to be his own boss and have the freedom to run his own business full time.

When John moved to Mombasa, he discovered that the quality of shoes were not as high as they were in Nairobi. He told me that the shoes you buy here would only last you five months. Having connections in Nairobi, he started transporting better made shoes from Nairobi to Mombasa via bus. He was able to sell the shoes in a nearby computer store. John would go in to fix his laptop and began chatting with the owner. Together they went in business together with half of the shop dedicated to computers and the other selling shoes. John's partner tends the store while he is at work during the day with the Microfinance bank.

John is asking for a loan to help stock inventory for his shoe business. He would like to begin to stock children's shoes. He says that the loans at his bank have a much higher interest rate than Zidisha, and he also does not have the assets to secure the loan. He hopes that with more profits by branching into children's shoes, he will be able to help with tuition fees for his cousin at the same University where he studied. He would also like to help out his family in Kitale, upcountry. He is the only boy of four children. When I asked him what about ladies shoes for his sisters, he told me that with the help of Zidisha, that will be the next venture!

Check out some photos from our visit!

Wholesale and retail business

Below are the 2 computers that I bought. One is a HP core 2 duo 3.1 ghz 4gb RAM which will be used specifically for SKYPE , another is a siemens dual core 3.0ghz 2gb RAM. More Pictures to follow.

Farming cassava, yam, plantain & sweet potato

At the farm

Buying a mini van

Thanks to you guys the printers has enabled my bussines s to move me to another level thanks for profit it has generated,for i have completed my college where i was taking a degree in theology . And my children are also doing fine that everybody in my family is happy. iwill sent the photos for graduation as soon as they are ready for you to see. thanks to zidisha.

Welder / Iron Working

Quelques réalisations effectués dans mon atelier.
Some production done in my workshop.

Translated by     Show original

Quelques réalisations effectués dans mon atelier.

Adding a beauty salon to my beauty shop

This is my knitting work.

Adding a beauty salon to my beauty shop

Hello lenders,This is my new cosmetic shop.

Adding more stock

thank you zidisha team and my lenders for your business still moving on well.i hope my sales will continue becoming more better since we are still on form one, first term school admission.


Selling school backpacks for children

Gate City Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi Indonesia

Help me make an ad banner for my mobile shop

the shop

Inventory of wool and knitting needles for knitting business

Before i started making this items i had made a carpet and i short on the orange wool. I managed to buy when you sent the loan and i will be finishing it by friday

Inventory of wool and knitting needles for knitting business

I am also started working on the carpet using the green wool and the tapestry

Inventory of wool and knitting needles for knitting business

It is cloudy today. I am working on a few items. I started a grey poncho with the circular needle i bought (No. 6mm)

Bratwurst fast food service

New update regarding the micro business that managed by my self. Today I have join to make agreement with Hygienic Fish Market (PIH) under Department of Indonesian Marine And Fish to producing large scale milkfish or Bandeng Presto and various fish processed products. Because purchase order from my agent had overload, so I can't handle on this anymore. Currently I have #11 agent and a few reseller. Here the pictures of equipment also new production place.

Inventory for my phone-delivery grocery business

My boy age 3 month
I am grateful to the Lenders and Zidisha team with confidence on its loan
business success and I can buy my boy needs


Loan to help pay fees for tuition & residence hall on campus

Yes, ma'am, living on campus these few days has been quite the experience for me. I sleep better now without worry of oversleeping and missing my early-morning classes. My roommates are cool and they've been nice to me.. and it feels good to report to work refreshed and with a smile. It's really nice and fun here. The name of the residence hall is Jean Nelson Aka Hall. There are so many activities at night at the Hall, ranging from church activities to sporting activities. Thanks so much for enabling me to share in this experience.
God richly bless you, ma'am.

Gas cylinders and jerrycan for gasoline

Increase the number of cans and gas cylinders to increase revenue

Insurance and licensees for my motorbike taxi

this the picture of my new bike, will send better pictures as soon as i get everything in order. thanks guys for your patience and prayers thanks allot GOD BLESS.

House roofing (timbers and iron sheets)

Hi lenders.
Today i received a call from a school. Am required to take passport photos for new students tomorrow and with the camera i brought am hoping to do a nice work.

Thanks once again for creating this opportunity for people like us.

Barbershop inventory

Finally i got some photos.My barbershop is in the middle of a busy market known as Chepkube and surrounded by different vendors.You can see photos of the items i bought to help me in my work,two blowdryers and a Wahl clipper(the other one was being used). On this day i had hired a lady to help me.

Add seven computers to my cybercafe

Direktur Zidhisa saat mengunjungi Toko Alifha & Alifha Cell ( warnet Alifha), foto bersama dengan istri saya di toko.

Harvesting and transportation of carrots in city market

Thank you very much my generous lenders. The loan you gave last time has really made a big difference in my business, life and community in general. Now that i bought a portable laptop i have been able to access my clients job wherever i am. sometimes a client needs his/ her job and maybe im not around the town nor in the business or they want us to discuss something, i just pull out my laptop and we discuss hence making it easy. Secondly, most of the time i assign work to my employees because maybe im out of town for an assignment of my work place, they are able to send me what they have achieved or the job they have been working for and then i check on it, do corrections and as well deliver the job in time.For instance, whatever i produced in six months last year ,i have already made it in two months, this has really encouraged me. I have been able to pay atleast three quarter of my school fees this semester, so im not worried about school fees till next semester.
Ever i have experienced easy Month of January after a very long holiday and everybody was broke except people who brought me business but im very sure is because they dont want to be left out in the graduation list....hahahaha

Add seven computers to my cybercafe

Toko Alifha dan Alifha Cell

Cattle farming

these are my chicken at their feeding area

Funds to support my school semester project

Dear Lenders,

I was lucky to get to meet Muhaimin last week at his residence hall near the University of Ghana in Accra, as his lecture schedule lined up with my visit. Originally from Ghana’s upper west region, relocating in his youth to the Volta region (in eastern Ghana), and now living in Accra, Muhaimin has been all over the country.

He heard about Zidisha from his roommate, Gideon, and was excited at the opportunity to assist with his school fees. Even though tuition itself is paid for at Ghana’s few highly competitive public universities, students must pay significant academic and residential fees upfront and student loans are difficult to obtain.

Muhaimin’s ultimate goal is to work in criminal law at the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Ghana’s internal intelligence agency. Right now he is finishing up his bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in geography, after which he hopes to get a law degree. Until then, he’s enjoying studying, life on campus, and playing basketball for the university. He’s incredibly grateful for the support of his Zidisha lenders and hopes to continue to use Zidisha loans to help fulfill his career dreams. We are excited to see where it takes him!

Thank you,

Ghana Country Ambassador

Tuition for my university degree education

Dear Lenders,

I got in touch with Gideon a couple of weeks ago and finally had the opportunity to meet him last week in Legon, Accra. We met at his residence hall at the University of Ghana – a nice airy building built around a courtyard with a café and basketball court.

Although tuition is free at highly competitive public universities like the University of Ghana, students must pay significant academic and residential fees as well as purchase books and materials. Student loans are difficult to obtain and, even then, do not usually cover all necessary costs. So Gideon and his roommates have used their Zidisha loans to make sure they can cover the upfront costs associated with their education.

Gideon is currently studying sociology, linguistics, and Russian. Russian wasn’t his first choice of languages - or his second, for that matter - but he enjoys it now and is interested in a study abroad program in Moscow. (I can’t help but envy his natural way with languages – in addition to learning Russian, Gideon speaks English, French, his native language of Twi, and three other Ghanaian languages: Hausa, Waala, and Ewe.) When he’s not studying, he is representing his residence hall as an intramural swimmer.

Gideon is incredibly grateful for the support he has received from his lenders and for the Zidisha platform and enjoys giving back to the community as a Volunteer Mentor. We wish him the best as he looks forward to utilizing Zidisha loans to pursue his degree and beyond – ideally continuing his education with a master’s in linguistics.

Thank you,

Ghana Country Ambassador

More commercial food stuff

Hi my lenders. Today I visited Mr.Amos shutu who is also a beneficiary if Zidisha.. He has really encouraged to continue with the businesses and paying on time to meet the requirement of growing up.attached is photo taken at his shop

Animal farming.

My name is Kerry and I'm a Client Relationship Intern for Zidisha in Nairobi, Kenya. Today I had the opportunity to meet with Jared Mokaya, a fairly new member of Zidisha at the Dorman's factory, where he works as a salesperson.

Jared, has been with Dorman's, a coffee roasting company, for a long time. He moved from his town of Yanza to Nairobi years ago, but then was transferred to Mombasa, on the coast. He was living there for seven years working for Dorman's, and was only transfered back to Nairobi five months ago. For him this was a great move, it meant a promotion to a more senior position in the company, and since it is in Nairobi, he is closer to his village (Mombasa is a ten hour bus ride from Nairobi) where there are more opportunities for starting his own business.

Jared found Zidisha through his coworker, Lawrence, another borrower, who I also visited while I was at the factory. Jared was very excited because with the help of Zidisha lenders he had purchased two cows and two goats, which are being taken care of by his father in Yanza. The cows are milking cows and with the milk they produce, Jared is able to sell it to a boarding school nearby. He is also able to use the goat to sell as meat for the boarding school as well. Jared hopes with the profits of this business he will be able to purchase more cows and more goats and expand. Then he says, the business can help him take care of the school fees of his two children. He is about to finish paying his Zidisha loan, and very excited to apply for another one.

We also talked a little about Mombasa, since I'm headed there tomorrow. Jared was extremely helpful in offering to try and help me find a taxi driver from the airport. He also gave me a pound of coffee as a gift. I asked both Jared and Lawrence that if working at a coffee factory meant they loved coffee as much as I do. Jared told me he used to drink four cups just in the morning and trained as a barista for fun, but now the coffee was giving him ulcers. I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that!

Tender supply

My name is Kerry and I am a Client Relationship Intern for ZIdisha in Nairobi, Kenya. Today I had the opportunity to meet with Lawrence Mademba at his place of work in the industrial part of Nairobi.

I was particularly excited, because although Lawrence's company works with aquaculture, I met him at his day job, Dorman's factory, that produces coffee. I love coffee, so when Lawrence offered me a latte, I couldn't say yes fast enough. As we sat drinking coffee, Lawrence told me how at Dorman's he works in quality control, but is very excited about the fishing ponds he has constructed, about six hours from Nairobi.

Like many inhabitants of Nairobi, Lawrence is not originally from here. He was born in a village of Kisumu. When he moved to Nairobi, he started off working for Dorman's, but three years into the job found African Heritage. This association has a gallery in Nairobi, and Lawrence worked for them for seven years, painting, which he still does in his free time.

When the economy took a downward turn in the mid 1990's, Lawrence returned to his job at Dorman's. A man with his ambition, he kept looking for potential business opportunities, and in the early part of this decade he saw that the government was encouraging fish farming. Being from Kisumu, fishing is a part of life, however Lawrence had little experience.

Lawrence is thoughtful and very clever. Talking with him it's not surprising that he has taken this opportunity and gone from beginner in a field he barely knew to an expert. He told me how the feed for the fish was quite expensive, however with a little research he has discovered that the waste of chickens will feed the fish. Therefore he plans on purchasing some chickens, and not only will he use them for the aquaculture, but also sell their eggs.

Lawrence is looking forward to his very first harvest in April from the first of his three ponds. It takes 7-8 months to harvest the fish, so this has been a long time coming. He is excited for the possibilities, and hopes that he with his profits, this will help him grow to a total of ten ponds. Right now his father tends to the farm, which Lawrence purposely set up in order for his father to be occupied in his retirement. However, Lawrence hopes to hire more employees as well as inspire his neighbors. So far three neighbors have also started up fish farms. He also wants to encourage thoughtful farming that is not harmful to the environment. He wants to create a program of planting trees and reintroducing wildlife to his village.

Lawrence and I chatted for about three hours. Lawrence sang for me, told me about his wife in children, and when I told him I was California, he said how much he loved Chuck Norris. I then had to tell all of the Chuck Norris jokes I could think of. He also encouraged me with my business ideas as well. I look forward to the next time we meet.

Increase of mpesa working float and adding shoes

front display of my shoe business