Go Against the Flow: Julia Kurnia, Founder of Zidisha

I’m inspired by the achievements of Zidisha entrepreneurs. For example, Duncan Chege in Kenya started an affordable IT school in a Nairobi slum, where many young adults worked as day laborers at a nearby airport. Duncan couldn’t get a bank loan, so he used his savings to start the school with just two computers. Demand was so strong that the computers were being used, two students to a machine, throughout the day and night. The IT skills the students gained there qualified them for better-paying professional jobs at the airport – a major step up from the casual day labor they were doing previously. Zidisha lenders invested in Duncan’s IT school, advancing the capital he needed to add several more computers. This multiplied the school’s capacity, allowing Duncan to serve many more students. I see stories like this every day, and feel incredibly lucky to play a role in the community that makes them possible.

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