This morning, on the occasion of Earth Day, I received some very exciting news! One of my favorite nonprofits, Kiva, a micro-lending website that enables anyone in the world to lend $25 to entrepreneurs and students, now has a new product offering – green loans! Kiva’s new web page states:
Help people live sustainably around the world. Green loans promote clean and renewable sources of energy by funding organic fertilizers, stoves, drip irrigation systems, solar panels, biofuels, and more.
With the new Green Loans, Kiva borrowers can use the loans for business or personal use. For example, a Kenyan Kiva borrower used his loan to purchase solar panels to electrify his rural home, while a Peruvian farmer used the loan to purchase organic fertilizer for his crops. Kiva’s press release lists a few other examples of Kiva Green Loans: loans to purchase renewable energy-generating devices, such as solar panels, wind power and biofuels; loans for transportation, including hybrid cars, converting cars to natural gas or purchasing a bicycle; loans for “green” home improvements, including more efficient heating methods or high-efficiency cookers/low propane gas stoves; and recycling-related loans, such as re-purposing or transforming used or recycled materials.
As former Kiva Fellow Meg Gray noted in this 2010 blog post, Kiva has been funding green businesses since it’s founding in 2005. But now, when Kiva lenders visit the Kiva website they will now see the new “Green Loans” module on the “lend” tab, which will allow the borrowers to quickly filter out the loans that match their environmental values. Just as when Kiva first announced another new loan product, BRAC Uganda Youth Loans, by the time I got to the Kiva website to check it out, the Green Loans had already been fully funded by other Kiva lenders. Kiva lenders are a very enthusiastic bunch!
Since Kiva is the world’s largest personal micro-lending website, here at Care2 we are excited about what this new product offering will do for the health of this planet and entrepreneurs around the world. In celebration of Kiva’s new Green Loans, 100% of the profits from the sale of the newest Care2 Daily Deal (a $15 solar flashlight) will go to support Kiva’s Green Loans.
Kiva Starts Student Loan Microfinance Program
photo from Flickr user International Rivers