Financial freedom: 4 lessons from Tala customers

Celebrating financial freedom for Kenya’s Madaraka Day

Choice is king in the world of personal finance. The ability to choose where your money goes, when to invest, save, or take risks makes it possible to build the future you want.

Our customers make savvy financial decisions every day — from increasing the stock of their businesses to covering emergency medical expenses.

That, to us, is financial freedom: our customers’ ability to live better because they have access to the financial options they deserve.

As we built and launched Tala, our new financial platform, we talked to hundreds of customers, learning the ways they engage with the app, make financial decisions, and run their businesses. Along the way, our customers have taught us the ways they ensure their own financial freedom.

  1. Financial independence is not a one-time goal, but a continuous process

Almost all of our customers (over 95%) stay on our platform and continue to choose Tala — in the past 18 months our 80,000 customers in Kenya have received over 265,000 loans totalling over 1 billion KSh.

We grow with our customers as they build their financial confidence and capacity, creating a long-term partnership to enhance their businesses and their lives.

2. It takes tenacity, and a hustler mentality

Half our customers have more than one source of income, and they take great pride in their hustle. We’ve seen accountants that work part time on a farm, fishermen in the secondhand goods business, and grocery vendors that want to expand into renewable energy.

Customers tell us in great detail the many ways that they work every day to create their own financial independence, hustling day in and day out.

3. Independence leads to creativity

We have received loan applications for everything from ‘expanding my poultry project’ to ‘helping me sell tasty samosas’.

Our customers get creative with business strategy and ways to utilize their loans, and are able to do so because of increased financial stability.

4. There’s more than one formula to financial freedom

Tala customers are incredibly different. They are from all over: Nairobi’s CBD to Nakuru and Mombasa. Some are 18 and some are 70, some have finished primary school, and others have earned a Master’s degree. There are mamambogas running fruit stands and real estate managers covering travel expenses.

Despite this huge variety of backgrounds, they show a commitment to bettering their financial lives: over 90% consistently repay their loans on time. Each of our diverse customers proves the value of connecting people everywhere to the financial services they deserve.


On June 1, Kenyans will celebrate Madaraka Day, a day commemorating one of Kenya’s many steps to freedom.

But a celebration of financial freedom shouldn’t be just this one day.

Our customers pursue this freedom each day, and we look forward to the many lessons we will continue to learn from them.

To celebrate, we’re launching a contest with the chance to win 10,000 KSh, and we want to hear from you — how do you define #freedomin5words?

Tweet or share on Facebook and be sure to use the tag #freedomin5words and #tala to participate. We are excited to celebrate financial freedom with you this Madaraka Day!