Diego is a wood-carver from Guatemala. Diego would like to stock up on raw materials for his hand-carved sculptures and masks and also buy an electric jigsaw. Diego has been selling through NOVICA since 2010. This is his story:
"I am a Maya woodcarver. At age 10, I left school to help my father work in the fields. Eventually, I began selling wooden masks, then learned to carve and paint them, while still helping my father. I am a devout Catholic, so I then began carving images of saints. Today, I have taught my art to six people, and I have been able to put my children, who are also wood carvers, through school.
"I'm very grateful to you because you're helping me a lot. Sometimes, I don't sell much, so this money helps me to continue working and producing. The micro-credit last year was a huge help, as you gave me a hand at a time when things were really tough for me. I want to buy an electric jigsaw, which will help me work faster and improve my quality because, at the moment, we do the cutting with a machete."
Novica is an e-commerce website that allows artisans around the world to sell unique, high-quality goods directly to consumers. It also offers small loans to help artisans in the developing world start and grow their businesses. It’s possible to buy goods created by the artisans you help fund on the Novica website.
Repayments on Novica loans are tied to artisan revenue. This means that if an artisan has a good month, they will pay back more -- or less during slower months. To accommodate this, all repayments on this loan are due at the end of the loan term. Any repayments received before this deadline will be considered pre-payments, but will still be distributed to lenders as usual.
Because Novica is not a microfinance institution, Kiva’s risk rating system is not applicable. Kiva has conducted onsite due diligence, and Kiva’s Investment Committee approved the organization as a partner. Novica offers artisans loans at 0% interest.