In 2005, Knox registered his group as a microfinance and consulting institution named Rural Economic Empowerment Programme (REEP). He hoped to mobilise savings from the church members and advance loans to the less fortunate in the church by facilitating them to pay school fees, buy farm inputs, buy water harvesting tanks and improve their general living standards. REEP grew within a few years and Knox recruited members from other denominations and also expanded to other towns because of the good advocacy the institution was getting through its members. Today, REEP has enrolled over 400 groups and has a network presence in central, eastern, and coastal Kenya.
In response to the high cost of kerosene for lighting the members' households, REEP introduced solar lanterns from BrazAfric to its members by financing the members to buy these solar lamps. The demand for the solar lamps soon became too high, so REEP, due to limited cash flow, could not buy an adequate supply of solar lamps to meet the high demand. Knox has been enjoying some credit terms to pay for the lamps in 30 days. He is now seeking to purchase solar lamps worth $2,000 for his members through Kiva financing.
On the uploaded photo is Knox with Sera- a member of one of his group called St Anne's Self help group in Voi, who purchased a solar lantern on loan from REEP. She has since finished repaying for the solar lamp and no longer has to spend so much money on buying Kerosene but rather she is happy that she can save now some extra money for food and school fees.
More information about this loan
To make repaying loans more convenient for borrowers, Kiva will accept "bullet payments" -- single lump payments -- at the end of loan terms, rather than weekly or monthly payments. This gives BrazAfric the ability to tailor repayment schedules to individual clients.
This Kiva loan will be used to provide borrowers with needed goods or services, as opposed to cash or financial credit.
Important InformationAside from its newly-established Vendor Financing Department, BrazAfric’s core business is not microfinance or finance. Thus, there is some level of additional risk for lenders that does not exist with financial institutions. Kiva’s partnership with the company is unique and unprecedented. For this reason, Kiva has not assigned BrazAfric a risk rating.
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