Jiweze Women Development Programme
Jiweze targets people who are unemployed or underemployed and seeking to improve their lives. They have little or no collateral and are therefore unable to access loans through traditional banking services. Women make up over 80% of Jiweze’s membership, the majority of whom members live in rural areas and cook over inefficient open fires. These traditional cooking methods produce health-damaging smoke and contribute to the deforestation that is destroying Kenya’s environment. Paradigm’s cookstoves will reduce the toxic smoke a woman inhales by 70% and will reduce the fuel needed to cook by up to 50%, saving families both time and money.
Jiweze was started in 2009 and currently stands at a membership of 10,000. Its head office is located in the town of Nakuru, and it has three branch offices spread across Rift Valley Province, Central Province and is currently in the process of spreading towards the Western part of the Kenya. Jiweze employs 30 full-time staff, most of whom are female. In five years’ time, Jiweze hopes to have become a limited company, to become more sustainable and rely less on grant funding,reach 100,000 members, and to cover a larger geographic area.
Jiweze has a wide variety of long and short term loan products to fit their clients’ diverse needs. It offers large group loans, small group loans, and individual loans. The majority of loans disbursed are business loans, but Jiweze also offers educational, personal and emergency loans. It charges interest rates of 1.5% to 2.5% on reducing balance per month, depending on the loan size and product. It even offers some loans, specifically those targeting female entrepreneurs, at a very low interest rate of 0.67%. Jiweze has a repayment rate of approximately 95%.
Its members are eager to purchase cookstoves, but Jiweze struggles to raise enough low-interest capital to finance the cookstoves for its members. Up to now, Jiweze has been offering cookstoves to its members on a repayment schedule of 3 monthly payments. With a loan from Kiva, Jiweze will be able to offer cookstoves to its members for smaller payments spread over 5 months instead of 3 months.
With a KIVA loan of $3,100, Jiweze will buy 200 fuel-efficient cookstoves from Paradigm and will offer its members improved financing terms to purchase a stove. This will make the stoves accessible to even the lowest income members. These stoves will help improve the health and financial stability of a rural families in Kenya.
More information about this loan
This loan is part of a program to fund institutions, including cooperatives and community-based organizations, that offer low-cost financing to general consumers who want to purchase EzyLife clean cookstoves. These institutions have successfully built trust with large networks of women living in low-income areas throughout Kenya. Their reach and influence provides an excellent pathway for expanding access to clean cookstoves.
This Kiva loan will be used to provide borrowers with needed goods or services, as opposed to cash or financial credit
About The Paradigm Project:The Paradigm Project (TPP) is a for-profit company that builds supply chains to deliver energy-efficient products to low-income families in developing countries like Kenya. Based in the U.S., the organization works through its overseas subsidiaries and select distributor partners to supply high-quality, clean-burning cookstoves manufactured by innovative brands like Envirofit, Burn Design Lab and EzyStove.
Kiva lenders’ funds are used by TPP to offer loans to low-income women interested in purchasing high-quality, high-efficiency cookstoves that significantly reduce exposure to life-threatening indoor air pollution and deforestation. One stove can save a family over $280 in income, reduce exposure to toxic emissions by up to 70% and prevent the destruction of 33 trees.
The Paradigm Project joined Kiva through our 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.
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