Aug 14, 2018
I've really enjoyed lending through Zidisha. It is nice to have direct contact with the people that are benefiting from my micro-lending.
I hadn't logged in for a while, and noticed that the number of loans available to fund have dropped off dramatically (to ~25 now). Is something going on that we should know about?
Liz, Daniel Malului, Fitri Fauziyah, Christian Golo, George Offei, Su Rono, S. E., FoxFamily, Julie, Duo Neka, Joost, Hagan Golo, Thariq Habibie, Litstrea, Nico Robin, Malachi Oloo, Kelvin Malambo and Joshua Shuajo like this.
Nov 10, 2018
Since my last loan repayment the proposals are rejected outright without a reason and up till now its still happening hence very disheartening for borrowers. Since August its not easy to apply for any funding coz you are turned down immediately upload your proposal. Hence discouraging many borrowers like myself
Mar 11, 2019
Not only have the number of loans available to fund dropped, very few are funded and the rest will experience a technical error or something like that and will have to apply again. Please Julia, present an explanation that we can all understand. Thanks
Mar 14, 2019
This is very true and as a volunteer mentor and a loyal borrower too,i think this is because intially zidisha was not using credit bureau to determine the worthness of the borrower the way its doing right now,having said that,some of us borrower you will find we had a loan from a certain financial institution and upon paying the loan may be with a week or late,we had been listed and we dont know and for instance in Kenya,once you clear your loan,you will have to follow with that particular financial institute to clear you which once you dont do that,you will remain to be listed in credit bureau,i personally have been a victim of such circumstance but i was able to follow up and my records were cleared but am still not able to apply for my 6th loan despite having paid all my past zidisha loan on time .
Secondly,being a VM, i have had many of the borrower refusing to apply due to higher rate of risk fee which is now non-refundable.So this two factors have had an impact of the loans to funds currently compared in past
Aug 16, 2018
I was about to ask the same question. Software glitch?
Christian Golo, Su Rono, S. E., Duo Neka, Hagan Golo and Kelvin Malambo like this.
Aug 18, 2018
I've left a message for Julia about this and it's something I'm wondering as well.
I know that most or all of the loans for very small amounts, such as under $10 or so, are no longer displayed in the Browse Projects area because they're now funded by Zidisha-managed accounts. I hope Julia can post more in here though.
Liz, SBlue1, Su Rono, S. E., Julie, Joost, Hagan Golo and Thariq Habibie like this.
Aug 19, 2018
There are two main reasons for the decrease in total fundraising projects:
1) In order to improve repayment rates for lenders, we are only presenting for funding applications that pass a rigorous risk assessment.
2) We are funding the riskier applications for newer borrowers who do not yet have a strong track record of repayments with Zidisha-managed donation accounts, rather than presenting them for funding in our website as previously.
Gabriel Fenili, Su Rono, S. E., dave2319, Julie, Joost, Belinda Serwaa, Hagan Golo, Nathan and Kelvin Malambo like this.
Maggie and Morwenna
Aug 20, 2018
Thanks for answering the question. It would be great to have this sort of information presented to us when the decisions are made rather than waiting until we get worried or frustrated and ask for clarification.
Liz, Su Rono, S. E., dave2319, Hagan Golo and Thariq Habibie like this.
Aug 23, 2018
I agree, Maggie and Morwenna, it would be very beneficial for Zidisha all round.
Liz, Su Rono, S. E. and Hagan Golo like this.
Aug 24, 2018
I find this decision discouraging. I decided on a small amount of money to lend at the beginning of this year when I discovered Zidisha. I enjoyed fully funding the lower valued loans. I have fully funded multiple loans by relending the same funds over and over. If there are not smaller loans to choose from, I am not sure I will continue to participate.
SBlue1, Ahadi, Wendy Emlyn, Su Rono, S. E., FoxFamily, Litstrea, Nico Robin and Maggie and Morwenna like this.
Aug 25, 2018
Same here. I prefer smaller loan.
Su Rono, S. E. likes this.
Maggie and Morwenna
Aug 26, 2018
I agree. When the repayments come in, they are often very small, even less than a dollar. I often choose to relend a small amount such as $2-$4 to a small loan. Lending tiny amounts to the larger loans can be far less efficient as they take longer to fund so the money is non-productive during that time and when the payments come in they're miniscule so it's even more inefficient in terms of maximising the money's impact against time taken to recycle it. I'd rather lend larger amounts like $25 to the larger loans, when a number of repayments come in at once. I enjoyed having a mix of different types of loan, but what concerns me more is that decisions like these are made and not explained until someone questions what we experience. I feel less like a stakeholder in the enterprise when significant changes to the operation are made without taking the time to inform us. I'm sure there were good reasons for the changes, but if we are to remain engaged with the platform, some of us would like to know and understand.
FoxFamily, Julie, Joshi and Nico Robin like this.
Aug 25, 2018
Does this mean that if we want smaller loans to be funded, we should donate money rather than lending it?
I miss hearing about smaller projects.
JimVandegriff, Gabriel Fenili, Su Rono, S. E., Julie and Nico Robin like this.
Sep 5, 2018
My opinion, too. What I liked in Zidisha: to choose from many different projects (small und larger). My hope was for more project in more different countries. Now the number I can select from is very much lower than before. I'm not as motivated to lend as I was before ... I have to think about withdrawing some of my money.
There a many other possibilitys so donate to organisations. I don't need Zidisha for that. What I like(d) at Zidisha was the direct way of communication and the large number of projects to choose from.
You advertise yourself with "no middlemen" - are you now trying to become this middlemen yourself?
SBlue1, Stephen Appiah Karikari, Kingford Kesheni, Maggie and Morwenna, Edwin Otieno and Kelvin Malambo like this.
Sep 6, 2018
Might I suggest that Zidisha *partially* fund those loans deemed to be riskier, leaving the last bit (10%? $10?) for us to view and fund? When I only have a few dollars at a particular time, it can feel like it's not really making much of a difference to loan $5 toward a loan that has $1000 left. Some of the smaller borrowers tend to be great at updates as well. Thomas' point about different countries is valid. We each have different reasons for choosing a primary (secondary, tertiary...) country to lend to. It leaves me scratching my head when no loans show up.
No plans to leave Zidisha; it's a great organization doing great things, but I'd feel much better and more strongly about it if some of the smaller loans returned.
Fitri Fauziyah, Gabriel Fenili, Christian Golo, Stephen Appiah Karikari, Joshi and Katie like this.
Sep 10, 2018
I am very saddened by this decision to Zidisha to cut out the lenders from the smaller loans. There is so much less to choose from i.e. currently only 8 projects. It leaves it less engaging and less of a desire to log on more often to participate. I understand the decision but from a lender point of view is discouraging. Loaning smaller amounts on smaller loans meant the turn around of repayment was quicker and hence could be reinvested.
Could there please be some compromise? I have been loaning for several y ears now and have really enjoyed reading about all the projects and deciding which ones to fund.
JimVandegriff, Julie, Katie, Nico Robin, Maggie and Morwenna and Kelvin Malambo like this.
Sep 12, 2018
I mentioned these comments to Julia (about people being disappointed that the smaller loans have been removed, and it being off-putting to see so few loan applications in the Browse Projects area) and she agreed that it is off-putting.
She said we're currently presenting only the least risky borrowers to non-managed lenders, but as a trade-off she's working on some measures to limit the ability of autolending accounts to fully fund loans immediately. Presumably this means some loans would be automatically partially funded and then made available for us to fund the rest.
JimVandegriff, Fitri Fauziyah, Christian Golo, Julie, Joost, Katie, Maggie and Morwenna and Nathan like this.
Sep 13, 2018
I Hope this would serve as a motivation for those doing well in their loan repayment on time, so as to maintain good repayment record all time. Thank you all and God bless you.
Kingford Kesheni and Julie like this.
Sep 13, 2018
I wish there was more communication from Julia and Zidisha team to let us know what's going on
Kingford Kesheni, FoxFamily, dave2319 and Maggie and Morwenna like this.
Maggie and Morwenna
Sep 13, 2018
Completely agree. We don't feel we can lend again until we have some communication.
Willie Lupiya and FoxFamily like this.
Sep 14, 2018
Sorry to hear that, Maggie and Morwenna, and I hear you, Liz. I've just mentioned these comments to Julia.
Willie Lupiya and Katie like this.
Arlington, MA, United States
Sep 14, 2018
I too am saddened by the changes that have been made. I liked choosing among a large number of loans of varying sizes. Also, now there are barely any women to lend to which is a problem for me. I understand that some of the loans are riskier, and I was okay with that. I actually cancelled my monthly $150 payment to Zidisha because of the small number of options. Instead, I have been lending through another organization. I have loved lending through Zidisha and will come back if it goes back to the way it used to be.
JimVandegriff, mariamfula, FoxFamily, Vincent Kakai and Kelvin Malambo like this.
Sep 20, 2018
if this other organization you refer to is like Zidisha, can you share details here if you dont mind? I am aware that it sounds unscrupulous to ask this question on a Zidisha forum!! But I certainly dont have intentions to muddy up waters. It is always good to know additional avenues. And if there isn't any, it will help me realize again that with all its shortcomings, Zidisha has advantages that outweigh all of it :-)
The key is Zidisha like organization - one that allows direct communication with lenders, doesnt charge interest and is a volunteer/community effort where people participate because they truly believe in the cause.
p.s. Julia, if you are reading this - please consider the point about more communication seriously. You have done an amazing job of starting/maintaining this platform. This is something that will help keep this wonderful thing going on.
Bridget Chamene K. Chikosa, Julie, Vitor and Lauren like this.
Sep 22, 2018
Carrie, I previously lent through another organization -- it's actually how I found Zidisha. I was using a search engine to find out about the process for distribution and a comparison chart showed up. For me, the decision to move to Zidisha was that they cut out the middleman, and that my loans actually went to the person I chose. With the other organization, loans were already funded, there was a substantial in-country charge from moneylenders, and I was basically just backfunding something that had already been done. No personal communication with borrowers, and few if any updates. Make sure the organization to whom you're donating is actually helping the entrepreneur and not just making money-lenders wealthy.
Joost, Sean Sullivan and Kelvin Malambo like this.
Atlanta, United States
Sep 24, 2018
Great thread, I just had the same experience and same questions. Could this be remedied over time "borrowers who do not *yet* have a strong track record of repayments with Zidisha" if there are net more borrowers coming on to the platform and establishing themselves? I'm wondering too if we, as lenders, could indicate our risk tolerance and be able to see more loans.
Julie, Joshi and Kelvin Malambo like this.
Sep 24, 2018
Hi, I have read the contributors to this thread and I feel Julia and her board have misjudged the mood. I realise that when I lend $10 for some chickens, to fund a greenhouse, or buy stock for a stall, etc, that I am lending to someone who may fail to repay. However, I like this way of lending because I am helping someone to get out of a seemingly dire situation. I also realise that the project may falter, i.e. because of illness or adverse circumstances. In cases like this I do not mind losing my money and would still lend again to the same person, if they were allowed to apply again. In trying to be perfect, Zidisha is acting like a bank and not lending where risk is involved. Perhaps you could include some riskier enterprises perhaps with a disclaimer. If I wanted to lend only safely I could put my money in a bank.
Liz, FoxFamily, Julie, Joshi and Kelvin Malambo like this.
Sep 25, 2018
EricA and FrankN both have nice idea - "expose high risk loans to lenders with appropriate indication so that they can choose to ignore such loans if their risk tolerance is low"
Daniel Malului, mariamfula, Julie, Katie, Billy Buttn, Vitor, Lauren and Kelvin Malambo like this.
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