The critics said it couldn’t be done: That a person-to-person lending community built from goodwill and trust could never bridge the international wealth divide.
That people in the world’s poorest countries would never repay loans without loan officers, collateral and other instruments of coercion.
That ordinary web users worldwide would never advance capital to strangers on the opposite end of the earth.
That geographic barriers are insurmountable: a responsible, highly motivated person who happens to be born in Kenya or Niger will never be connected to the same chances to invest in a better life as a person living in a wealthy country.
The critics said: That has always been the reality of our world, and always will be.
When Zidisha completed three years in operation with a repayment rate of 97%, thousands of loans raised and countless lives transformed, the critics said that our achievement is a fluke, an aberration. They said it couldn’t be done at scale.
Today we overcame that barrier: Over one million dollars in loans raised.
This is your legacy now. You who have joined us as borrowers, lenders, volunteers and supporters not only lent your time, energy and resources to a noble cause. You made the leap of faith that made our impossible dream a reality, and the world will never be the same.
Irene Wairimu, a beauty salon owner in Kenya who is using her business earnings to put her three children through school, wrote:
“I don’t know how to thank Zidisha because it has made many people’s life to become better and also help disadvantaged families to provide for their family food to the table. Also Zidisha has done best job of getting people together like in one village in this world.”
This is where we’re going. We will have reached our destination when her vision becomes reality in marginalized communities worldwide, and geographic location no longer cuts people off from the chance to build better lives.
On behalf of each person whose possibilities have been transformed by your support, please accept our sincere expression of thanks.