Making 43+ lives better with KIVA crowd-funding
Zuni has been working with a fantastic crowd-funding organisation called KIVA since May 2011. For those of you who have never heard of KIVA let me give you a quick low down, or alternatively have a read of our previous KIVA blog post.
Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. This is where it gets interesting. Kiva is not just your average charity, Kiva works with micro-financing institutions on five different continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. Kiva has achieved mind blowing results, with the total value of all loans made through Kiva amounting to an incredible $395,162,800 in nearly 70 different countries. Now that my friends is a few loans!
Kiva sounded very much like something Zuni wanted to be a part of after hearing our MD Mike Zeederberg talk about his own personal investment and how enjoyable and rewarding being part of this crowd-funding organisation was. So we kicked off our involvement with a promise of sinking $$ into a brand new loan every single time we gained a new client. The notion was that as Zuni grew we wanted to help someone in a third world country grow their business as well.
So here we are, 21 months later, with 43 loans under our belt!! We are totally stoked with this and have quadrupled our original investment in terms of reinvestment. Yes, pause and be happy with us!!
KIVA has loans from literally all over the world and we wanted to spread the Zuni helping hand as far and as wide as possible and thus far have lent to 31 different countries including Peru, Togo, Mongolia, Vietnam, Indonesia Kenya and Rwanda.
As you may be aware, women in third world countries need the most help as generally they are underpaid, perform lower status jobs, own fewer assets and have less control over household income than men do (UNICEF). Gender biases in property and inheritance laws also affect their channels of acquiring assets – leaving women at greater risk of poverty. At Zuni we felt quite strongly about creating a skew towards women in our loan portfolio and have since maintained roughly a 70% skew towards females.
Here are some of the stories from our latest loans, enjoy.
KIVA loan 40 – Yanet, Peru
Yanet is 33 years old, lives with her partner and 2 children. In her hectares she grows plantains and coffee plants that are sold in the city to coffee cooperatives that give her good profits. “The coffee in this area is well sought after, that is why when I harvest it I sell it quickly,” she says.
Zuni is contributing to her loan so that she can buy more organic manure to make coffee nurseries and for her own crops.
KIVA loan 43 – Mandalina, Kenya
Mandalina is a 59 year old married woman with 5 children. She has been operating a farm for 6 years where she sells bananas. She describes her biggest business challenge to be lack of capital to expand the business.
Zuni is contributing to her loan so that she can buy more banana trees. Her business goal is to be the biggest supplier of bananas in her town within 5 years.
Reading these stories is a bit of a wake up call to our first world problems isn’t it? Helping Mandalina to buy banana trees and Yanet to buy more organic manure put a smile on our face, and reminds us that we are not only fortunate but also able to spread that prosperity to those in need.
Interested in getting involved? Check out KIVA and what they are all about! Cruise the loans and find one that tugs on your heart strings.