Small business owner in a third world country taking out a micro loan

Small Loans Making a Big Difference Around the World

4 min read • Mar 14, 2020 • Mary Kate Miller

At Lendio, we believe that small loans can have a major impact. It’s our mission to fuel the American Dream by facilitating small business loans. We know that American business owners aren’t the only entrepreneurs with dreams. Through our Lendio Gives program, we are able to extend our impact across the globe.  

That’s why we donate a portion of every loan transaction on our marketplace to Kiva, a San Francisco non-profit that fund entrepreneurs around the world through microloans. And because we know that great things can happen if everyone chips in a little bit, 85% of Lendio employees donate a portion of their salaries to Kiva. 

Today we’re celebrating the successes of small business owners who used their Kiva funds to score some big wins in Peru, Tanzania, Honduras, and Zimbabwe. 

Sirenachayoc Group

Cusco, Peru

The Sirenchayoc Group, a community bank in Peru, has posted another loan on Kiva. This loan will help to support the work of one of Sirenachayoc’s members, Josefa. Josefa runs a business selling handcrafted items—she sells knitted sweaters, blankets, and weavings. She’s requested the loan to grow her inventory and purchase knitted items and weavings. 

The members of the Sirenchayoc Group work in a diverse array of fields: clothing sales, a grocery store, a restaurant, and a photocopying business. The community bank supports their work and provides the flexibility the women need to remain engaged in the operation of the bank in addition to their other work responsibilities. If they have to arrive at a Sirenchayoc Group meeting a little late because of their work schedule, that’s A-OK. Sounds like community supporting community. 

Neema Group-Buguruni

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the Neema Group-Buguruni used a microloan from Kiva to support an entrepreneur named Ismail. It was the first time Ismail had taken out a loan for his business, and we’re delighted to report that the experience went as well as he hoped it would. 

Ismail, who works as a food vendor, used the funds to purchase more stock of items like cooking oil, tomato sauce, chili sauce, eggs, meat, and chicken. These ingredients are essential to his recipes. As a result of being able to purchase more ingredients, he was able to increase both his sales and his profit margins. In turn, he was able to use the increased profits to pay back the loan and cover personal household expenses. 

The sky is the limit for Ismail. With increased profits, he has his eye on expansion. He hopes to open a second location soon. 

G.s Cementeras 2 Group

Lempira Department, Honduras

The Kiva funds acquired by the G.s Cementeras 2 Group in Honduras were used to help a small business owner named Rosa. Rosa runs a small farm growing “excellent” coffee beans, and she’s been selling her harvest to local intermediaries in coffee production for 10 years. 

Rosa wanted to expand her growing capabilities. She needed to purchase fertilizer and foliar spray to do that, and the microloan allowed her to make these essential business purchases. As a result, her crop production increased and so did her profits. With these increased profits, Rosa plans to grow more coffee plots. 

The loan came at an important time for Rosa. After suffering the loss of her husband, Rosa said she went through a “difficult situation.” The Kiva funds allowed her to get ahead and maintain her coffee bean crop. 

Microwave Group

Mashonaland East Province, Zimbabwe

At an age when many Americans would be looking toward retirement, Patirisha (59) from the Microwave Group in Zimbabwe sought a microloan to help with the business operations she runs from her homestead. 

Ten years ago, Patirisha took over the business and financial responsibilities for her family in order to support her husband, who is paralyzed. She raises chickens in her fowl run, which can accommodate over 500 birds. 

The Microwave Group has taken out its 4th round of funding. Patirisha used her portion of the microloan to purchase chicken feed. Because of the success of the loans, Patirisha has been able to try out new projects like fish farming and work as a florist. 

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Mary Kate Miller

Mary Kate Miller is a writer based in Chicago, IL. She specializes in covering finance (personal and business), investing, and real estate. Her mission in life is to give readers the confidence and the knowledge needed to grow their wealth by making financial topics more accessible. When she's not writing about topics like business loans, you can find her playing armchair financial advisor to the Real Housewives.