Zidisha is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that allows people to lend small amounts of money directly to entrepreneurs in developing countries. It is the first peer-to-peer microlending service to link borrowers and lenders across international borders without a local microfinance institution intermediary. The organization is named after the Swahili word zidisha (pronounced [zi.ɗi.ʃɑ]), which means "grow" or "expand".

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Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Purity at Work
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime Purity Mwirigi is a woman who wears many hats and roles in her life. She is first and foremost a single mother of a son. She is also in her mid thirties, graduated from Katheri High School, and worked in a supermarket for 6 years before starting her first business. Initially, […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • A Budding Businessman
    ‘I still consider myself as a budding businessman but I hope to start competing with the big boys in business very soon.’ As one of Zidisha’s younger borrowers, Ian Ndirangu has now proven himself as he balances his growing business with his academic studies. In addition to running his business, he has also been taking […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Riches of a Nation
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime David Kamau Waweru began his career in the private sector after finishing college. He had received his diploma in Agriculture and worked for 8 years before venturing out on his own. Once becoming an entrepreneur he supported himself through dairy farming and general agriculture. While running his business, he was also […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Never Give Up
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime Duncan Nduati started out as a normal college student with a certain knack for business. After growing up in Thika town in Kenya, he continued his education at Jomokenyatta University where he studied Math and Computer Science. He was determined to go into business during his time at university so he […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Designing the Future
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime Leonard Ampofo is a gifted millennial and the second child in a family of four. He received his basic education at Obuasi in the Ashanti Region, and continued on to the senior high level at Cape Coast in the Central Region. He then attended the University for Development Studies at Wa […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • A Generous Giver
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime For Wilberforce Meki Oyiengo, entrepreneurship was not his original career plan. After growing up as the first born in a family of six, he pursued a diploma in Architecture at Weco College of Applied Science and Technology. He had hoped to find a government job, but when that plan did not […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Born to Be an Entrepreneur
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime Growing up with a father who was self employed in the lumber industry and a mother who was a small scale farmer, it’s no surprise that Dancan Mong’are caught the entrepreneurial bug. As the second son of five brothers he knew that he needed to find a way to support himself […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Where in the World Can You Get a Loan From a Stranger….Zidisha!
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime For many years, struggle and hardship was just a way of life for George Kiio. As a child, he knew what it was like to be forced to quit school when he couldn’t pay the school fees. However, that was not enough to hold George back. He then started work as […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • 1,000 New Chicks for Kossonou
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime Kossonou Yao is from a small town called Manpong, in the Ashanti region of Ghana. He grew up as the eldest of three children and attended Kumaca Senior High School for his high school certificate. Afterwards, he furthered his education at Garden City University where he earned a degree in Business […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • A Charged Life
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime Burhan Ebrahimji knows what it means to be an entrepreneur who pivots and tries new things. When he started borrowing from Zidisha he had been in business for 5 years. He began by selling quality clothing items to his customers in Kaloeni, Kenya. Although he only had a small amount of […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • A Community Worth Feeding
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime  George Omolo loves to help and serve his family, customers, and community. He is married with three children and when he is not busy at work in his business, he is often found watching documentaries, spending time outdoors, and spending time with local orphans and rescued children at a nearby children’s […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • A $50 Difference
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime Dennis Kipkurui is a man of many talents. While he currently operates a variety of businesses in numerous industries, it all began with a single mission. Dennis was the third child in a family of six and being raised by a single mother, he knew he wanted to grow his business […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Fashioning a Better Life
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime Alice Wachira was the first born child who, at age 5, was handed over to her father’s twin brother, as his wife could not bear him any children. Life was pretty good for her until her uncle decided to remarry six years later. After that, life became very difficult for Alice. […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Don’t Keep All Your Eggs in One Basket
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime John Thiaro entered the world of entrepreneurship out of necessity. After working for a few companies that closed due to the recession he knew that he needed to look for a new path. His entrepreneurial journey began as a poultry farmer. He determined that poultry was a good starting point because […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • A House of His Own
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime Raya Theofilo was born to build. Born in 1976, he was the seventh child of the late Joseph Raya and Rachel Umazi. He attended Mazeras Primary School from 1983 to 1990 but realized after completing his KCPE exam that his father did not have the money to send him to high […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Typing Up a Better Future
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime For Kenneth Buyeka, it all began with one computer and a very small photo printer. He was raised in a large family in Kenya with his parents, John and Bilha and 2 brothers and 5 sisters, 4 still living. When the time came for him to attend college, he chose Weaver […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Dressing the Part
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime Morcher Michael says that as a young boy he was always, ‘brilliant and interested in studying’ growing up in Enchiladas in the Western part of Ghana. As he progressed in his studies he decided to further his education at a Teacher Training College. He knew that he was interested in teaching […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • An Ambassador of Good Health
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime “My happiness is earned from seeing a healthy community and my biggest wish is to achieve a whole healthy community.” Beatrice Monyoncho is a hard working woman who was born in Kisii town and grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. After completing her primary and secondary studies she advanced to medical school […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Thinking Outside the Box
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime “My dad encouraged me to think outside the box and start farming,” says Rachel Wanjiru Njuguna. As a wife, mother, recipient of a Marketing Management diploma and a current Accounts Clerk, Rachel is now able to add farmer and entrepreneur to her list of titles and accomplishments. Growing up with 4 […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Creating a Beautiful Life With Beauty Products
    By Betsy Ramser Jaime Ruth James was raised in a family of farmers in Meru county, Kenya. As the fifth of six children she is proud that her parents were able to educate their children through farming. Her high marks in school led her to finish high school and then university where she pursued a […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Cooking Up Success
      By Betsy Ramser Jaime Geoffrey Wasike has been identifying problems and overcoming adversity for as long as he can remember. He is the fifth child in a family of six and when he was two years old his father passed away leaving his mother to raise all six children on her own. Even as […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Wings of Change
    by Rebecca Wolfe Dulo Kikkan and his wife Caroline care deeply for the wellbeing and education of the children in their community. With two children of their own, Feizer Torunn and Johnson Israel, they knew that they wanted a place where their boys would be happy and well taken care of, have the opportunity to […]
  • Zidisha team spotlight: Alejandra Cors, Operations Coordinator
    By Julia Kurnia, Director One of the most inspiring things about the Zidisha community is that volunteers are at the center of our operations.  Volunteers undertake an incredible range of tasks: loan payment processing, borrower application review, email and SMS support in four languages, accounting reporting, sharing entrepreneur stories in social media, and more.  It is no […]
  • Introducing Impact Investment gift cards
      Looking for an interesting gift for someone who already has everything? Our new Impact Investment gift cards let you give a growth-enabled Impact Investment lending fund to a friend or loved one with just a few clicks.  Here’s how it works: Select a card of any amount and print or email instantly. Your recipient can […]
  • The Future is Bright
    by Rebecca Wolfe Growing up in a single parent home, Wairimu Gathii  saw how her mother worked “single handedly… to bring up my siblings and I and give us an education.”  A child in Nakuru county, a poverty stricken area northwest of Nairobi, Wairimu is a daughter and sister, and now a mother.  Wanting to […]
  • A Space for Service
    by Rebecca Wolfe   Edward Agola believes in his community, in “the blessings that come with giving, and the ‘power of many’.” Heading up HeCom (healthy community) Medical Centre, a registered Community Based Organization (CBO) with Kenya’s Department of Gender and Social Services, he is doing his utmost to meet the needs of his neighbors. The […]
  • What We’re Thankful For
    by Rebecca Wolfe The Zidisha community has a lot to be thankful for this year — entrepreneurs are thriving, communities are growing, and lives are changing for the better. We are grateful to our lenders for sharing their funds and support, to our volunteers for tirelessly working to keep Zidisha running smoothly, and to our […]
  • Introducing Impact Investment Funds
    Our new Impact Investment Funds let anyone open a growth-enabled donation lending account. Impact Investment Funds work just like regular lending accounts, in that 100% of the lending funds you upload, and their repayments, go to your chosen entrepreneurs.  In addition: A portion of the 5% service fee paid by all Zidisha borrowers is reinvested in […]
  • Going Global
    by Rebecca Wolfe Francis Maweu is always smiling, because, he says, he always finds something to smile about. A loving son, hard worker, and entrepreneur at heart, his passions have driven him all of his life. He started his first business as a young boy, raising and selling rabbits and chickens to supplement his mother’s […]
  • A Woman of the Land
    by Rebecca Wolfe Miriam Marani is a woman of the land. Raised in a rural Kenyan community, she has long been friends with the soil and the plants. The oldest daughter of two school teachers, she made her way through high school and college and then into a clerical position at a community organization. This […]
  • Celebrating 2016
    By Julia Kurnia 2016 was a record-breaking year in so many ways.  Here are just a few of the highlights: Number of loans funded: 21,846 Thanks to you, over 20,000 entrepreneurial dreams became a reality in 2016.   Our loan cost ratio: 4.95% In an industry where loan cost ratios of over 30% are the norm, we spent […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • Hope in the Hills
    By Rebecca Wolfe, Entrepreneur Story Writing Intern The sun beats down. Sweltering waves of heat and light bake the red, dusty roads of Ngong, Kenya. A motorcycle drives along, stopping and parking beneath the corrugated tin awning of Dannex Motorbike Spares & Repairs. The rider dismounts his bike and walks inside where he is greeted […]
Zidisha
Zidisha
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  • The Clack of Keyboards
    Elijah Mwenja is one of thousands of loan recipients financially empowered through Zidisha microloans. This is his story.

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