About Deki

Vashti in NepalWe empower people living in poverty to create sustainable livelihoods by providing access to ethical microloans and training.

Almost half the world lives on less than $2.50 a day. Yet these are honest, hardworking people motivated by the same things as most of us: they want to make something of their lives, feed their families and send their children to school. With the capital to start a business these people can turn their lives around. Together we can empower them to work their way out of poverty.

With Deki you can have a direct impact on people’s lives by lending anything from £10 to your chosen entrepreneur in the developing world.

100% of the money you lend goes directly to the person you choose to support.

Deki is a charity designed to help people work their way out of poverty, so our loans don’t generate profits for lenders. Your loan will be repaid fully in 6-12 months. You will be repaid monthly, as the repayments come in you can relend, helping more people.

The Deki story

Vashti Seth set up Deki in 2008, inspired by the story of Deki Dolkha, who was a Tibetan refugee sponsored by Vashti’s father.

Vashti visited Deki in India and they stayed in touch via email. However, once Deki had finished school, poverty and lack of opportunities forced her to return to her estranged family in remote, rural Tibet. Here, she had little chance to put her education to good use.

This experience motivated Vashti to help people in developing countries build their own livelihoods through microloans and training. Rather than depending on handouts, this enables them to set up their own businesses and become financially self-sufficient.

Life changing loans

Deki loans affect whole communities. Considering that most of our entrepreneurs have a spouse, 2-3 children and that they often support an elderly family member, your loan will affect several people’s lives.

Impact on Family Life
Through an increased income our entrepreneurs have the ability to support their extended family; on average Deki loans have a positive impact on the livelihoods of 5 or more people.

This translates to an increased ability to:

  • Access clean water
  • Put more nutritious food on the table
  • Send their children to school
  • Save for the future

Deki loans impact on Personal Finance and the Local Economy

  • Training entrepreneurs in business gives them confidence to employ local people in the community
  • Local employment opportunities are created
  • Increased profits are spent in the local community, boosting the local economy

Deki currently works in Malawi, Togo, South Sudan and Nepal and we have a 99% repayment rate. Only one loan has defaulted and that was due to our entrepreneur passing away.

Training for entrepreneurs

Business training and support are integral components in all our programmes.

We are in the process of developing a new training toolkit which will use a participatory approach to learning and include the following areas:

  • separating money between business and household
  • reinvesting profits in the business
  • maintaining records of sales and expenses
  • budgeting your money
  • saving for the future
  • thinking proactively about new markets and opportunities for profit

Our ethical principles

Deki has signed up for Smart Campaign client protection principles, which are set to deliver transparent financial services to all clients.

Deki and our field partners follow these principles:

  • Prevention of over-indebtedness
  • Transparency
  • Responsible pricing
  • Fair and respectful treatment of clients
  • Privacy of client data
  • Mechanisms for complaint resolution

Read Deki SMART Campaign statement here.

As of 2012 we work using Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI). It’s a tool that enables us to tangibly measure poverty and its alleviation over time. Read more about PPI.