Zua is a non-profit organization that uses emerging technologies in microfinance and insurance to disrupt the cycle of poverty. Individuals who depend on agriculture in developing countries are vulnerable to a wide range of climate-induced risks that impede socioeconomic development. Those risks posed by weather can not only trap entire communities in a cycle of poverty, but can also impede farmers from taking risks and investing in measures that could increase their productivity and improve their socioeconomic status. By providing affordable microinsurance to some of the world’s poorest, Zua hopes to equip farmers with the safety nets and tools they need to make life-improving investments in themselves and their families.
Zua was founded by two McGill students, Brenden McKinney and Meagan Prins, and was built on the knowledge they developed through their IDS, economic development, and finance classes. One of the sparks that led to the founding of Zua came from INTD lectures on gender in development and on the critiques of microfinance.
This year, Zua is launching two pilot projects in rural communities in Central Zambia, where it will provide indexed-based rainfall insurance to local farmers. Through the utilization of new technologies, peer-to-peer financing and donations, Zua is able to provide financial services at heavily subsidized prices, enabling the organization to target those most in-need of risk management solutions.
To learn more about Zua and their work, please visit their website.