We Have A New Member Forum


Our long-awaited new forum is now live!  This was made possible thanks to a generous donation of professional web forum software and customized design by Randy Petersen, the founder of the Milepoint forum, FlyerTalk, and several other highly successful websites serving the frequent flyer community.

The new forum is a work in progress, and we are still adjusting its parameters in response to user feedback.  We’d like to go ahead and invite all Zidisha members to begin to use the forum and help us to perfect it.  You may access the new forum here:


Though our old forum will no longer be active, we will keep it online and include a link to it from the new forum.  We look forward to seeing you there! 

Thanks from Nakuru, Kenya

We’d like to share these notes of appreciation, all of which were posted in the past few days by members in Nakuru, Kenya:

“Dear my lenders am so greatful to all of you. i need to update you with good news on my cow which give birth yesterday. so am very greatful to all of you for this far. now the milk is quite in a big quantity. am now doing so nice with my dairy farming. i hope you could visit my arm and drink a cup of milk. this is great to me.am currentry milking six cows which prodoces about sixty kilos of milk. i then sell the milk to brookside company.am realy moving forward.”

– Posted on July 22, 2013 by Peter Nganga 


“Dear Zidisha community, I wish to register my deep appreciation of the new development going on in terms of membership and loaning, thank you Julia and your team.anything aimed at strengthening and creating trust between lenders and borrower should always be welcome. As I speak I now have a brand new Motorbike that I use to travel to my shamba and I gives me alot of pleasure to know that I can now easily manage and plan in to the future with confidence that I can access funding with a community that cares for my business. I have no fear that should a problem arise my property wil not be crudely attached. Zidisha can listen, reschedule, has a platform to keep lenders and borrowers in touch, it is more human than any microfinance in existence.My development remain and will always be entrusted to Zidisha!”

– Posted on July 21, 2013 by Sammy Kimani


“Hi Lenders,
I posted a loan application on 18th July 2013 after clearing a previous loan 17th of the same month. One the same day of 18th the loan was fully funded and disbursed on the night of 19th. This is efficiency that surpasses any bank loan by any bank anywhere in Kenya. It is the kind of system that puts trust and confidence in any entrepreneur worth his/her title, and the beauty of it all is that one doesn’t need to travel anywhere to transact; you do it right in your kitchen, sitting room or while looking after your goats in the wildest part of your country. This kind of thing could not have happened without the architects of Zidisha. I just can’t help asking the borrowers to nurture Zidisha by repaying their loans diligently and inviting members of integrity, because they are the ones who can differentiate the good from the bad members. 
Thank you and God’s blessings
Esther Andiwa”

– Posted on July 20, 2013 by Esther Andiwa 


Veteran Zidisha entrepreneur Esther Andiwa will use her new loan to purchase three new computers for her cybercafe. She estimates this will allow her to serve many more customers and double her revenue.

A new study shows that simple cash transfers to low income individuals generates more benefit than spending the same amounts on providing them with business training:http://www.givedirectly.org/blog_post.php?id=3706879878149292008

This is why we do not divert our resources to provide training to clients. People mostly know better than outsiders how to optimize their use of resources, given their individual circumstances, local market conditions and unique risk management needs.

A New Home












By James Hastwell, Burkina Faso Client Relationship Manager

I recently had the great pleasure of visiting Siaka in his village Takaledougou. He was nice enough to put me up for the night in one of the local huts. He really is a fantastically nice and welcoming person, not to mention all the fantastic things that he continues to do as a volunteer mentor.

Siaka began showing off some of the items he has purchased with his Zidisha loans. With the first he acquired equipment to process manioc into attieke, a local dish. With the second, he purchased the ‘taximoto’ seen in his pictures below. His intentions were originally to use it to collect manioc and sell attieke in town. As it turns out, the ‘taximoto’ is in high demand and he frequently lends it out, for a fee, to other villagers.

Recently Siaka has expanded his manioc fields to ensure a year-round supply of manioc. He currently has 4 different types growing as he tries to find out which gives the greatest yield.

I asked why he didn’t want to just focus on processing manioc, and I found his answer quite insightful. As he puts it, cultural forces at play mean that Siaka’s main risk was losing his suppliers once he started to show a bit of success. He identified this early and began planting his fields. 

A number of months later his predictions held true and suppliers began giving preference to foreign buyers. Without his foresight, Siaka would have surely seen his financial situation deteriorate. You must admire his use of experience and vertical integration in managing his business operations.

In terms of impact, the most obvious is effect is the literally gigantic (by local standards) newly built house in the picture below. Siaka is insistent that without the two loans he never would have had the income to build it.

Looking forward, Siaka tells me he is planning to go back to school to finish his education. From then on it really is hard to tell how far this man’s talents will take him.

You may read Mr. Traore’s story in his own words and view more comments at his Zidisha Microfinance Profile page.






“This is truly humanity.”

“hae my lenders,this chilly morning i have remembered you and i have decided that i have to great you and offer my sincere honors and thank you for whatever you are doing.to be honest i respect the trust you gave me and anyone else you supported with your loans,it is not easy for a person to give another person especially a stranger whom you have never met or seen.this is truly humanity.i really love your work may you live with that heart and i assure you that a giving hand is more blessed than a receiving hand.for sure you are beautiful people.be blessed. “

– Posted on July 7, 2013 by Margaret Huine in Komothai, Kenya

Ms. Huine is a single mother who supports herself and five children by keeping layer chickens and selling the eggs.  She raised her first $100 loan to increase her flock of layers in May of this year.  You may read more about her story at her Zidisha Microfinance profile page.

Zidisha entrepreneur supplies community with public restrooms


By Naroa Zurutuza

I’m Naroa Zurutuza, Zidisha’s Client Relationship Manager in Kenya. In my last visit to Githurai Progressive I had the pleasure to meet Duncan Nzangi.

Mr. Nzangi used to have a fast food stand in Githurai market. However, around one year ago, he made a decision that was going to have a positive impact in his local community.

As many areas in Nairobi, streets are dirty, full of dust and garbage. In consequence many people don’t care too much about the environment and since finding a public restroom is rare, people use the street instead. Mr. Nzangi decided to try to change this and built the first public restrooms in Githurai.

Seing the success of the first stablishment (he has around 50 users per day who pay 5-10KSH [US $0.03 – $0.06] to use the toilets), not long time ago he opened the second public restrooms in the area. He agreed with the landlord a price for the construction and a monthly rental rate. He used the first Zidisha loan to pay part of the construction expenses (there are still some small details that need to be finished). With this initiative, he will contribute to make his community a cleaner place.

You may view more comments and photos at Duncan Nzangi’s Zidisha Microfinance Profile page.