Deki — One Website: Empower Millions

by Deki in Bristol, Bristol, England

Deki — One Website: Empower Millions
We did it
On 3rd April 2018 we successfully raised £8,575 with 102 supporters in 42 days

Deki helps entrepreneurs in Africa create their own small businesses, to work their way out of poverty. But we need a new website.

by Deki in Bristol, Bristol, England

New stretch target

We’ve done it, again! First we had a target of £5,000, which we reached 20 days early, and then we stretched the target to £7,000. Well, we've just hit that, so it's time to do it again!

We can't believe that we've raised so much already - it'll be the icing on the cake if we are able to double our original target.

The more funds we raise at this stage, then the quicker we can get started, and the less we need to raise in the next part of the process. The next steps are to begin applying for funding and grants, and speaking to specialists to start getting their input on how we best create a world-changing website.

That’s why we’re adding a second stretch target of £10,000. The more work we do here, the faster we can give Deki lenders what they’ve asked for, and what our entrepreneurs deserve.

We've done it! New stretch target!

About us

Deki provides small, ethical loans coupled with business and social training to remote and marginalised communities in Africa. We give you the chance to tackle the root causes of poverty; creating long-term change and giving individuals the opportunity to flourish with dignity and pride.

You can make a loan, from as little as £10, to help an entrepreneur grow a successful business. A sewing machine can create a tailoring business. A water pump increases a farmer’s yield. 100% of your money is sent to your chosen entrepreneur and all funds are repaid; ready to be re-lent.

Deki has transformed the lives of over 55,000 people in the developing world by providing £1,444,171 in loans from over 4,873 lenders.

Why we need a new website

Deki’s website is the platform we use to change lives. Our lenders use our website to select which entrepreneurs they would like to support, and to help them create their own small-businesses. Without the Deki website, our work would be impossible. 

Whilst Deki is growing and more lives are being transformed every month, we know that our current website is letting us down. The website is slowing down as more loans are funded, and as more Deki lenders join the revolution. It's not cutting the mustard. To think bigger, we need a new website.

  • There are hundreds of monthly tasks that could easily be automated, freeing up our time to do the stuff that really matters. 
  • 30% of you use the Deki website on your mobile phone – and our website isn't even mobile compatible!
  • It takes an average of over 5 seconds to load our website – during which time about 10 babies are born into poverty.
  • Over 30% of our website visitors leave before making a loan – and we know that’s because our website isn’t the easiest to use. 
  • It’s also extremely dated – we want to freshen things up and give you the lending experience you deserve.

The Deki gamechangers

Mobile responsiveness and more payment options

One platform, everywhere

Something that’s long overdue with Deki’s website is being able to support Deki from anywhere, any way you want.

First up, is making sure the new website works just as well on your phone as it does on a computer. We want you to seamlessly move from your home to the bus, while continuously changing lives.

We want to give you more payment options so you can fund your lending anyway you want to – from paying directly from your credit/debit card, to setting up monthly direct debits.

We also want to get all the different ways you can support Deki on your lending dashboard, under one log-in. No more having to create new accounts for various online services just to lend or donate to Deki.

Follow the journey out of povertyIt’s about the journey, not just the destination

We interview our entrepreneurs at different stages of their loan cycle – before the loan, during and after. This gives us tangible data on the impact your loans are making. By presenting this information on each entrepreneurs’ profile, you’ll be able to follow their journey out of poverty, and reaffirm the change that you're making.

Are they on their first loan? Or third? Can they read & write? What skills have they learnt through their business and social training? Can they put food on the table? Can they afford their children's education?

Search for entrepreneursFind the perfect match

You’ve shouted in astonishment at the fact there’s no way to filter, or search, our entrepreneurs to find your perfect match. And we’ve listened.

Do you want to fund a farmer in Ghana, a female restaurateur in Togo? Do you have a hankering to help a single mother? We want you to have the freedom to search and filter entrepreneurs based on categories, tags, funding time, funding amount, etc.

Find new ways of using technologyFuture proofing

Our future vision for Deki includes ingenious web developers — worldwide — adapting and using Deki’s platform to create new and original ways for you to change lives.

Deki is built on using technology to connect you with your entrepreneurs, and finding new ways of doing this is part of who we are. By creating Deki’s new website with this thought in mind, we can make full use of emerging technologies. 

Relevant communicationsIt’s not you, it’s us

We know that not every email or communication we send you is relevant to what you want to know. A better grasp of who you are, gives us the opportunity to customise what you receive from us.

We also want you to be able to put us on mute if you want; but not in an “all or nothing” kind of way. We want you to be able to select the emails you want, and the emails you don’t want.

Bar graphs and pie charts, your lending historyA better grasp of your lending history

One of the best things about Deki is that you can choose who you want to lend to. But at the moment we don’t have the ability to give you a full breakdown of your lending history.

By introducing a reporting area, you can see what you’ve been up to since you started lending with Deki.

We’re thinking pie charts and bar graphs. Have you lent to mainly women or men? Which country have you lent to the most? What about their industry? How much money have you put into your Deki account, and how much are you owed in repayments?

Old vs. new

Comparison table


  • Crowdfunder - March 2018
  • Raise funds and apply for grants - 1 month
  • Put website development out to tender - 1 month
  • Decide who will help Deki pull themselves into the 21st century - 1 week
  • Discovery and planning - 1 week
  • Software design - 1 month
    • Tech stack decisions
    • Database architecture
  • UI design - 1 month
    • Wireframes
    • UX flow
  • Content writing and assembly - 2 weeks
  • Development and programming - 2 months
  • Beta testing and review - 1 month
  • Launch - 1 week
  • Maintenance and enhancements - ongoing

As featured in

Who has mentioned Deki

Bitcoin donations

Digital currencies, aka cryptocurrencies, have been dominating headlines for the last few months. Because we're raising funds for a new website, we thought we'd jump on the trend, as well - techy donations for a techy cause.

We're now accepting donations via Bitcoin and Ethereum (both different types of cryptocurrencies that have been gaining a lot of momentum recently).

How to donate:


Our Bitcoin wallet address is - 37L7Y6FX1Jt4VPZTQPPJ2NbupDUiqnGkE5 


Our Ethereum wallet address is -  0xF99b5CD0e240E562CDCf9bcb0D7b7E623d16eF3c

Who we are

Melanie Knight - CEO

Keeping the Deki machine well-oiled, Melanie has her head deep in finance and governance most days. It seems like yesterday that she joined the team, but she's made a world of difference.

Rowan Dade - international programmes and fundraising manager

As a new dad, Rowan is running on less sleep than Iron Man. He's in constant contact with our Local Experts and is setting Fundraising trends on fire; we're in awe of his ability to juggle two roles at Deki. 

Bryony Spooner - marketing and communications director

Bryony is Deki's longest-standing team member. She heads up Deki's marketing, and with a background in PR she knows exactly how to get people talking about us.

Alex Moreton - digital marketing manager

Alex lives and breathes all things digital. Alex drives our marketing from our humble office in Bistol, UK, and makes sure that we are always improving.

Volunteers - too many to mention

We couldn't do what we do without the plethora of volunteers who work with us. You know who you are, so thank you. Without you, we'd be nothing.


  • £5,000 doesn’t seem enough money to build a new website.
    • It's not. We're going to use this initial amount to start applying for grants and match-donations as leverage. It takes money to make money, after all.
  • So how much is it going to cost?
    • We estimate that a new website would require around £50,000, from start to finish. As part of the fundraising process, we will be looking for tech companies to support us in the development.
  • Are the Gamechangers going to be implemented?
    • The Deki gamechangers are what we would love to implement. We're right at the start of this whole process so everything is still to be confirmed, however we've spoken with our current web developers and they are confident everything we've mentioned is possible.
  • How long will it take?
    • Websites take a long time to develop. Especially one as complicated as Deki's. As soon as we've raised enough money to begin the development of Deki's new website, we think it could take up to 8 months.
  • Why do you need a new website?
    • Deki's website works well enough for the amount of lending that we're doing at the moment (even though it can sometimes be a wrestling match to get it to do what we want it to do). We are however being held back due to the limitations of the current website. A new website opens doors for so much more in terms of changing lives.
  • Why do you need to expand?
    • We want to expand because there are so many more budding entrepreneurs out there, living below the poverty line; unable to feed their families or send their children to school. We believe in a world of opportunity, not poverty.
  • Who will be developing the new website?
    • We're going to be putting the website development out to tender. As a charity, everything we do is transparent, including where we spend our money. You'll know at the same time we do, who will be developing for us.
  • How can I get in touch with Deki?
    • If you want to get in touch with the Deki team, send us an email at Or if you'd prefer to speak to someone, give us a ring on 0117 942 8970.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

Cry me a river

We're not admitting that we're crying, but we probably are. Thank you for your donation.

£25 or more

I want to hold your hand

A round of fist bumps around the Deki office, dedicated to your donation.

£30 or more

Hug you, squeeze you

Everyone likes hugs, especially when you're making other people hug. So that's what we're doing right now. Hugging.

£50 or more

Sea of smiling faces

The ultimate form of flattery. Every computer in Deki HQ will have your photo as the screensaver for a day.

£70 or more

Walk on the wild side

Bryony (our Marketing and Communications Director!) has a dog called Peggy. Peggy likes walks. So does Bryony. You do the maths. Join them both on their lunchtime walk.

£100 or more

Eat your heart out

Even team-Deki get a bit peckish every now and then, so come and have some lunch with us.

£500 or more

0 of 10 claimed

VIP access

Get a sneak peak of the new website before the grand launch. Be our guinea pig.

£1,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

The wall-of-fame

Get your name and photo on the wall-of-fame page of the new website.

£5,000 or more

You're a gamechanger

Deki's new supercharged website will forever be dedicated to your generous support.

Got an idea like this?

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