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Nearly two decades after a tragic genocide devastated Rwanda, the nation has made great strides to recovery and has become of the most business-friendly countries in Africa. Yet it is still one of the poorest countries in Africa, with an average household income of just $1.45 per day. Nearly 80% of Rwanda’s population lives in its mountainous rural terrain. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves estimates that over 8.5 million people in Rwanda are affected by household air pollution caused by cooking over open fires.

The Paradigm Project has long been passionate about working in Rwanda to help alleviate the burden on household finances and health that is caused by cooking over open fires. We launched our EzyLife brand in Rwanda in 2012 in anticipation of finding a great business partner whom we could work with to build a local EzyLife business.

We first met Amri, who founded SERVE and SMILE to help bring life-improving products to the people of Rwanda, when he joined our campaign to pilot a market-based system for delivering cookstoves and solar lights to rural Rwanda. After nearly a year of working together, we are delighted to help Amri launch his own business in Rwanda with a Kiva loan that will purchase 2,880 cookstoves.

“This loan will make our company dream comes true by stepping to the bottom of the pyramid as we are solving problems of the poor at the same time creating jobs in rural areas, mostly to women entrepreneurs (village agents),” said Amri when he heard about the Kiva loan opportunity.

Amri will launch his business in partnership with two unique groups: he will work with CARE, an international non-profit organization that is working with EzyLife to train 100 women entrepreneurs in rural areas who will do direct sales of Amri’s cookstoves. He will also work with a vast network of community groups supporting survivors of the genocide, also helping to recruit and train women as cookstove entrepreneurs and sales agents. Through these two groups, there is already vast demand for the product – Amri is worried about having enough stoves to serve everyone in need! With this Kiva loan, he will be able to purchase enough stoves to satisfy the growing demand and sell them at a profit so that he can continue to grow his business in the future.

Additional Information

More information about this loan

Kiva loans will fund "last mile entrepreneurs" who sell EzyLife clean cookstoves in rural, hard-to-reach areas of Kenya. Last mile entrepreneurs represent a deep communal connection in the areas where they work and are key agents in day-to-day customer interaction, brand presence, and after-sales service. These entrepreneurs need working capital in order to purchase cookstove inventory. During the course of this loan, which functions like a revolving line of credit, entrepreneurs will sell the inventory they purchases with these funds, repay Paradigm Project, and access more product. Borrowers who are strong performers may leverage these loan funds multiple times during the course of this loan.
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.


About Rwanda

  • $1,700
    Average annual income
  • 59
    View loans »
    Rwanda Loans Fundraising
  • $15,325,525
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • US Dollars
    Loan transacted in USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $18,725 helped Amri to buy clean cookstoves to sell to women's groups.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
8 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Oct 31, 2013
Oct 9, 2013
Currency Exchange Loss:
Mar 20, 2014