We’re not just about spreading the wealth — we’re all about spreading friendship, too. That’s why we make it easy for lenders and entrepreneurs to communicate directly with each other throughout the duration of their loans and beyond. Scroll down to see ambition in action!

Taylor Hanna     Feb 27, 2015

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,

Taylor
Ghana Country Ambassador
Zidisha

Loan to help pay for my third-year tuition & accommodation fees (working toward a Bachelor's Degree in I.T.)
Accra, Ghana

Mathews Kerongo     Feb 27, 2015

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.

Additional kerosene stock
Nairobi, Kenya

Kevin Momanyi     Feb 27, 2015

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.

To expand my poultry business.
Nakuru, Kenya

Robert Mutai     Feb 27, 2015

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.

Purchasing photocopier and camera for cyber cafe
Ruiru..kwa Kairu, Kenya

Beatrice Kaptwai     Feb 27, 2015

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

Loan to stock my african womens cloth materials
Bungoma Town, Kenya

Peter Mwangi     Feb 27, 2015

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.

Egg wholesaler
Thika, Kenya

Keneth Mutuma     Feb 26, 2015

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.

Purchase of laptop housings for resale to enhance income
Chuka, Kenya

Raphael Gatheca     Feb 26, 2015

HAPPY MOMENTS: BENEFIT TO OTHERS

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

Buy goat to increase my livestock
Nairobi Kasarani, Kenya

Chris Mwangi     Feb 26, 2015

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).

Loan to buy seeds for french beans produce for export
Naivasha, Kenya

Kerry Tiedeman     Feb 26, 2015

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!

Solar power
Mombasa/ Bamburi, Kenya