Mary, a wife and mother of four in the Mukuru informal settlement of Nairobi, is ready to change her life. As she says, “It’s time to think higher and not be sleeping. It’s time to pull up our socks because life is hard.” Mary used to sell cabbages, but realized that venture was not lucrative. She then began working for a company that sells textbooks, but has found that it is similarly unprofitable and equally exhausting. Mary is tired of being part of someone else’s business; her dream is to start a business of her own.
Mary was recommended to buy and run a Fresh Life toilet by a friend who has found the enterprise profitable. She would like to start her career as a businesswoman with Fresh Life because she understands the amount of cleanliness a sanitary toilet option can bring to her community. The profits she makes will go towards providing for her family, including paying her children’s school tuition. However, Mary doesn't only want to provide for her family; she will also be able to provide a good job for her sister, Anne, who will operate the toilet.
Mary wants to be a stronger woman, and believes that owning a Fresh Life toilet business will empower her for future endeavors. She hopes to eventually buy more toilets and dreams of venturing into other business opportunities.
More information about this loan
Eight million people in Kenyan slums and 2.6 billion people worldwide lack access to hygienic sanitation. Sanergy aims to permanently reduce related disease in these areas by making sanitation accessible, affordable and sustainable. This social enterprise builds toilets under the “Fresh Life” brand, franchises them to local entrepreneurs, collects the waste and converts it into renewable energy and organic fertilizer.
Because Sanergy’s core business is not microfinance and its partnership with Kiva is unprecedented, these loans present some level of additional risk for lenders. Accordingly, we have not provided a risk rating for this partner.
This Kiva loan will be used to provide borrowers with needed goods or services, as opposed to cash or financial credit.
Sanergy is a social enterprise that combines technology, entrepreneurialism and a unique business model to provide safe, accessible and affordable sanitation products and services to slum residents across Kenya. Sanergy uses the flexible, zero-interest capital provided by Kiva lenders to offer loans to its network of toilet operators. The funding covers the upfront costs of the toilet purchase, enabling operators to pay back the loan over time with the revenue generated by the toilet.