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Premal Shah, President & Co-Founder, Kiva
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 Kiva conducts regular, ongoing monitoring of all Field Partners, but only posts status updates here in response to relevant, major changes at the partner. 

Partner description:

Farmers and rural business owners in Zambia lack access to affordable, available and appropriate equipment for key business ventures such as farming and food production. Without productive assets these entrepreneurs are not able to realize their business potential.

Rent-to-Own is a social enterprise that directly responds to this challenge through a holistic approach: help customers select their assets and provide low-cost distribution, tailored financing options, and training services so that each customer walks away with the assets, knowledge, and skills needed to grow their businesses.

Founded in 2010 with the help of Engineers Without Borders and Forest Fruits Ltd., Rent-to-Own has served more than 2,600 customers, benefiting 13,000+ disadvantaged household members in rural Zambia.

Kiva lenders’ funds will allow Rent-to-Own to further expand its unique asset financing program, reaching more customers in the bottom of the pyramid across rural Zambia. Currently Rent-to-Own operates out of 10 field locations, each serving customers within a 50-km radius. They’re working hard to both increase sales density at each field location and expand geographically in order to bring our rural asset financing solution to thousands of people a year. However, finding financing is difficult because the model – despite being proven – is new. Kiva funding will be used to make this happen. 

A unique lending approach:

Most small business owners in Zambia live hundreds of kilometers away from the capital city, which makes the purchase of equipment costly and challenging. Rent-to-Own uses a product catalogue for customers to purchase equipment needed to grow their businesses and a network of local agents who leverage their social networks to decide if customers are credit-worthy. Once customers are approved, Rent-to-Own provides delivery, installation and training services for their equipment to enable same-day use.

Samuel is a small-scale vegetable farmer from the farming area of Chibombo District, Zambia. He bought an irrigation pump from Rent-to-Own. Since the pump was delivered, Samuel no longer needs to water his crops with buckets by hand. This has allowed him to irrigate a larger portion of land in less time. Samuel said, Rent-to-Own has made his “[…] dream coming true.”


The typical entrepreneur earns less than $2.50/day and employs 2-10 people. Rent-to-Own focuses on entrepreneurs who can generate new revenue with the right tools and equipment, and who are in remote, underserved areas. By sourcing the products on its own and organizing delivery and installation for customers, in most cases they’re able to provide products at a fraction of the cost.

Learn more about Rent-to-Own’s work and impact: 

In addition to providing low-cost assets, financing and a holistic set of support services for these assets, Rent-to-Own delivers a wide variety of trainings ranging from business development to record keeping. These trainings ensure that customers can maximize their earnings from the equipment.

Rent-to-Own joined Kiva through the experimental partnership program, and has therefore received a lighter level of due diligence. Accordingly, loans associated with this partner carry a higher level of risk than typical Kiva loans.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Mar 1, 2013 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $193,650 $961,155,050
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $542,525
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 264
Amount of Paying Back Loans $73,125 $144,022,675
Number of Paying Back Loans 82 178,942
Amount of Ended Loans $120,525 $816,589,850
Number of Ended Loans 152 1,025,481
Delinquency Rate 31.36% 8.18%
Amount in Arrears $11,082 $7,694,837
Outstanding Portfolio $35,342 $94,073,118
Number of Loans Delinquent 55 19,665
Default Rate 11.71% 1.40%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $14,117 $11,449,953
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 29 32,888
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 1.96% 0.46%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $3,798 $4,395,675
Refund Rate 1.82% 0.62%
Amount of Refunded Loans $3,525 $5,946,325
Number of Refunded Loans 2 5,964

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 25.32% 75.32%
Average Loan Size $835 $399
Average Individual Loan Size $835 $631
Average Group Loan Size $0 $1,759
Average number of borrowers per group 0 7.7
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $4,100 $5,882
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 20.38% 6.79%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 1.74 days 6.92 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $479.22 $57.69
  Average Loan Term 8.4 months 11.11 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 88 500,450
  Journaling Rate 40.88% 41.44%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.05
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 1.17

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2015 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 39% APR 74.00% PY 26.14% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A 3.2% -1.25%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 10.00% 16.85%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Valerie Aguiar
Mark Hemsworth
Yue Ma
Brian Magee
Sandra Murre
Jeffrey Scheidegger