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Tswanda, a Zimbabwe crowdfunding platform, seeing some traction

The concept of crowdfunding is brilliant. Instead of waiting for the usual quarters for help (banks, government, NGOs, embassies and donor organisations) individuals with a need can directly appeal to ordinary people for funding.

Startups can get help funding an idea, people can get fund their health bills, raise school fees, or even raise money for a cause. It’s by no means a new concept globally; platforms like Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Gofundme have existed for years and have, helped people raise, combined, tens of billions of dollars to date.

You’d think that in Africa and countries like Zimbabwe specifically, where formal channels for funding are hostile, crowdfunding would be big already. Not so. Despite many individuals setting up websites (really just installing a website, and doing nothing much else), no crowdfunding service has stood out here in Zimbabwe.

That may change though. A relatively new service called Tswanda seems to be getting some traction.

With just 15 funding campaigns on the site so far, Tswanda has been successfully used to get 100% funding for 2 campaigns; a $1,135 Christmas Bonus fund for the Staff of the Adolescent and Adult Rape Clinic and a $226 Chema fund. The bulk of the campaigns though didn’t get much funding, with some raising as little as $33.

According to Tswanda’s rules, unless a campaign gets at least $100, the campaigner doesn’t get the money. If one raises more than $100, though, Tswanda charges 10% of the money raised as platform fees.

An interesting campaign that just went up on Tswanda is one to Free Patson Dzamara and Occupy Africa Unity Square Activists, who were jailed recently and had their bail set an amount they can’t afford. At the time of writing this, the campaign had after 1 day raised $255 of the $10,000 required. if you haven’t heard of this group, you can read more about there here.

Tswanda accepts payments by Mastercard, Visa, and all the local mobile money options in Zimbabwe like EcoCash and Telecash.

The slant of all the campaigns so far is causes and not business. This may become Tswanda’s default niche as a funding platform. It’s interesting to see if there’s going to be a crowdfunding platform like Tswanda for entrepreneurs, of if Tswanda will grow to serve these other spaces adequately.

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15 thoughts on “Tswanda, a Zimbabwe crowdfunding platform, seeing some traction

    1. This is a great initiative, no traction for months but they still at it. Keep going guys Rome wasnt built in a day

  1. The problem with funding in Zimbabwe, crowdfunding or otherwise, is accountability. They should follow through and ensure funds are being used for the defined purpose. Other platforms have faced the same problems, with conmen putting up heartbreaking images in order to prey on sympathy to raise money. Besides that, it’s a very noble initiative.

    1. I happened to be at court on Saturday morning and met these guys. I firmly believe these funds will be used for what they are intended for. Persistence for a better life for all Zimbabweans and future Zimbabweans.

    2. Generally the nature of crowdfunding puts the onus on the contributor to verify the authenticity of a campaign that they are willing to contribute to. It is always encouraged to contribute after verifying or to campaigns you are sure about. Crowdfunding platforms are independent from the campaigns and campaign owners.

  2. call me whatever, but somehow I get this feeling is more about publicizing the Dzamara campaign/fund than it is about tswanda itself.
    or, at best, tswanda is using this dzamara thing to get publicity
    not that its wrong, but its just so blatant 🙂

    1. Let me guess you also believe in the Illuminati, think Magaya is a Prophet and are a card carrying member of one of this country’s stupid parties.

    2. what so wrong about
      1. tswanda using the dzamara issue to publicize what can be achieved by using their service
      2. publicizing th dzamara campaign so that people can get him out of jail

      its for a good cause so whats wrong with that, crowdfunding is a good concept i will be glad if tswanda is a success

      1. They jus found an opportunity and seized it. That’s good business, and that’s all that crowd-funding is. Why leave the big fish? Nothing wrong with it

    3. Thanks for the comment. We appreciate all the support and interest you have shown. Campaigns on the Tswanda platform are initiated, launched and promoted by the campaign owners. As a new platform and a generally new concept in the country we continuously promote and educate people about crowdfunding through campaigns launched.

  3. We would like to thank all of you for the comments. Tswanda is a platform for all Zimbabweans from all walks of life. You support of the platform and the campaigns hosted is greatly appreciated. There are a lot of initiaves in and around Zimbabwe that we can work together, fund and bring to fruition. Chara chimwe hachitswanyi inda.

  4. Tswanda is not the only crowdfunding platform in Zimbabwe. There is also Fund4Crowd which is pretty cool than Tswanda.. I have used it and it was pretty super. Here it is:

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