25 Apr Africa Rising: The Story of Lupiya
Welcome to yet another episode of #AfricaRising where we we shine the spotlight of African entrepreneurs are defying the odds and changing the narrative. This week we are in Zambia with Lupiya. Lupiya offers peer-to-peer lending and investments to small and medium businesses and individuals.
Lupiya uses an innovative credit decisioning and collections platform to ensure that loans and investments are secure. Currently, 70 percent of Zambians are financially included versus 30 percent who are financially excluded. This is high and impedes economic and social development. Without equal access to financial services, the economic and social development of a country is stunted, and its people live in a perpetual state of poverty.
Lupiya’s mission is to “foster financial inclusion in Zambia by simplifying borrowing processes and requirements.” The company was founded in 2016 by Evelyn Kaingu and her co-founder Muchu Kaingu, who also happens to be her husband. The idea for Lupiya came towards the end of Evelyn’s short stints in the corporate world where she had roles at multinational retailer Spar and at the World Bank.
Lupiya focuses on women and has developed a tailored product called Lupiya for Women which addresses the unique financial needs of Zambian women. While this business focus on women is strategic, it is also personal for Evelyn: “me being a woman and not being able to meet the requirements of a formal lender and not having data around why I could not qualify made us focus on women” says Evelyn. Initially, Lupiya was supposed to be for women only and was meant to alleviate the challenges that women face when it comes to accessing finance.
However, as the company grew, it became clear that lack of access to affordable financial services was a wide-spread problem and Lupiya could provide their unique solution to both men and women. In 2020 Lupiya received an investment of US$1-million from Enygma Ventures. Learn more about Lupiya by visiting their website or Facebook.