Mike Quinn of Zoona
“If we provide a ‘business in a box’ that allows people to become successful entrepreneurs, good things will happen.”
Zoona is an African mobile financial services company. Through Zoona’s microfranchise model, thousands of independent agents in Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique are able to provide basic financial services like money transfers, savings and credit to unbanked people in their own communities, creating a ripple effect that helps other small local entrepreneurs launch and operate businesses in turn. Over 1.5 million people regularly use financial services provided by Zoona’s agents, and over $1 billion in transactions have been processed on its system — a tangible contribution to financial inclusion.
Social impact is important to Zoona. It was the first company in Southern Africa to become a certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp), and was also part of the Girl Effect accelerator program. The company’s mantra is: “We exist to help communities thrive.”
As Zoona CEO Mike Quinn explains in this interview, another of his top priorities for the company is customer focus. He says that he encourages agents and employees at all levels to spend time with clients they serve, so “we can then… [build] products and services that meet their needs and expectations, and we can do it faster and better than anybody else.”
What’s important to Quinn himself, he says, is getting feedback from Zoona agents in the field. “What really inspires me is spending time with our agents — how they’re growing these enterprises with the tools and inputs we gave them, but really with their own energy and passion and drive to help their communities… [It’s] quite amazing.”
Zoona and Accion have partnered since 2012.