ZIDISHA INC.

Rating: 4.48 stars   27 reviews

Issues:

Location: 21900 Muirfield Cir. Apt. 302 Sterling VA 20164 USA

Mission: Zidisha is the next generation of microfinance. It is the only peer-to-peer microfinance organization that allows lenders to make low-interest loans to borrowers directly, without any intermediaries. Launched in October 2009, Zidisha has since raised over $350,000 for over 600 small businesses in developing countries. Visit Zidisha.org for more information.
Results: Loans raised: $352,006 USD Businesses financed: 602 Average lender interest: 3.08% Members Worldwide: 2040 Repayment rate: 97.49% (As of September 2012)
Target demographics: Zidisha borrowers are located in low-income countries where small business loans are often unavailable, or carry prohibitively expensive interest rates and collateral requirements. Zidisha allows entrepreneurs who have built up successful credit records with local microfinance institutions to access progressively larger business expansion loans at interest rates they can afford, limited only by their own loan repayment performance.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 3 stars  

This is a non-profit, in fact more a charity, and it is crucial to keep that in mind if lending through this platform. One should not expect to retain the capital placed into the system. I have seen about 30% of the money I have put in, over the past two years, disappear - sometimes with an explanation from the borrower or zidisha volunteers, but often without any reasons provided. I have also encountered many enthusiastic, hard working borrowers who seem to make excellent use of the loans they receive. It's a mixed bag - with Zidisha, you have to expect bad lending experiences with the good.

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Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I was hopeful about the prospects of this funding platform, but the losses to the lender are too great. Out of $825 I have uploaded over several years, I only hope to get back about 55% or less of the principal. Also there are some unscrupulous practices at Zidisha occurring now where they switch your account to "auto-lending" thereby draining your account every 24 hours according to some default preferences that I had never authorized. I was never notified of a change in their terms and this new feature was activated without my knowledge and money started leaving my account. The founder refuses to correct the situation and removes posts that are contrary to her "terms" on the member forum pages so that no one else can be warned about these settings. I can't recommend this Nonprofit and encourage you to stay away.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

This organization needs better customer service and responsiveness to the lender's concerns. Also better screening of the clients who receive the funding is essential.

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Zidisha is a great concept, but for these few years it's been in business it's still bad execution.

First, there are still a lot of crooks in the community. A lot of borrowers planning to take the loan and then walk away. This problem has been improved over the past few years, and we know we can never 100% eliminate these crooks. So this is fine.

However, the biggest problem is, as the lender, you cannot, and I mean CANNOT, make any accusation on borrowers, even if it's crystal clear the borrower cheated. I had borrowers who just took the money, and then the next day disappeared with $0 repaid, and after a few weeks the loan defaulted. Even in this situation if you accuse the borrower, according to Zidisha you are making "unproven accusation that hurts the borrower and community", and the worst case is they will close your account right away (happened to me).

Lender-borrower relationship is suppose to be equal and win-win relationships. Unfortunately Zidisha DOES NOT understand this; they side with the borrowers and treat lenders as second-class citizens. If you think you will be respected for being charitable by taking ALL the financial risks, and charging an absurdly low interest rate in order to help borrower, THINK AGAIN. Zidisha does NOT respect lenders. For you, you filthy lenders live in developed world and should be happy. It is your honor to get conned by people from developing nations and DON'T YOU DARE VOICE UP AND POINT OUT THE FACTS.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Microfinance is one of the most useful ways in which people in the developed world can help those in developing countries. Of all of the microfinance organizations that I know, Zidisha is unique. It directly links lenders like me, to borrowers in Kenya, Ghana, and other countries. I can lend as much or as little as I like, I can request reasonable interest if I want, and I can (and do) directly communicate with the borrowers. I have several borrowers to whom I have made 2 or 3 or 4 loans over the years, as I have seen their businesses grow, seen them offer employment to others, seen them working hard to succeed. The personal link, and the fact that there is no middleman, makes Zidisha terrific.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find more people to make loans!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Zidisha is a powerful and effective business model. The amount of interaction between lender and borrower is gratifying, and allows a real human face to be put on a microcredit loan. The fact that borrowing rates are very low (in comparison to other microcredit sites) means that more profit is made by the borrower, loans are paid back more quickly, and there is more benefit where it is needed. Of all of the dozen or so microcredit websites that I have used, Zidisha is the one that impresses me most.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Zidisha is a single place that a struggling individual can find affordable and dignified financial aid. Zidisha gives everyone a chance to prove his honesty and trustworthy to the world!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a way to effectively update ALL members of any changes of the rules at the same time.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 4 stars  

great staff it will assist the entrepreneurs it is a wonderful experience to connect with zidisha

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I was pointed towards microfinance a few years ago as an alternative to charity donation - more sustainable, more interaction, not simply pouring pounds (I am British) down the drain. It was about the time of the shake up in microfinance and people were realising that sites like Kiva took a significant cut along the way.

I came across Zidisha in Jan 2012 via a websearch and it was very well reviewed. I find it very rewarding as it is very explicit about how it works and you decide exactly who you support - it's a direct line to the real people trying to make a living in developing countries. To be honest, I don't worry too much about whether I gain or loose money as I see it as a "leveraged" charity donation. I don't look for a significant return but there is a 2-3% default rate that I loosely try to offset and overall I think I'm up slightly.

This is a great organisation. I check it every now and again but I fully expect to donate through it in the medium to long term.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Zidisha is a microfinance organization that allows lenders to loan directly to borrowers at reasonable interest rates, plus a borrower transaction fee. The borrower sets the rate ceiling, not Zidisha or another third party organization or Microfinance Institution (MFI). Actually, a lender has the option of lending at a 0% interest rate, which is a big plus as is the ability of lenders and borrowers to interact directly with each other. The ability to control rates while lending, transparency of Zidisha (e.g. disclosure of rates & fees), and having no intermediaries are the three main factors that attracted me to Zidisha. I intend to keep lending here as long as the three main factors remain.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

By allowing me to lend directly to recipients, Zidisha ensures there are very few costs involved. This makes the interest rates paid by the recipients low, while encouraging donors to set realistic rates. This isn't a charity so much as a method of sensible economic stimulation. I am happy to make a modest profit on my loans so that money can be lent out again and again. After more than a year, I have had no bad debt and am lending to about 30 recipients with amounts of about $10-20. Charity should be about all of us really, and Zidisha social lending is close to this ideal.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Zidisha is the one nonprofit microfinance organization out there that is created to help poor business owners throughout Africa. Zidisha's main strengths our it's transparency which encourages the lowest interest rates possible and full communication with the borrowers themselves! It's a testament to the fact that technology will be able to connect us personally to the poor's business, and allow us to have profound impact on the daily lives of others from the comfort of our PC.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?