Josephine is a 33 year old woman living in Rongo village, a rural area in Western Kenya. She is married with three children. She is a woman who juggles family, education and business. Josephine distributes energy-saving cookstoves, while at the same time studying Business Management, which helps improve her sales acumen. She has been able to develop vast markets for her EcoZoom cookstoves, selling faster than any other distributor of EcoZoom stoves to date. But due to financial constraints, she is not able to buy and stock energy saving stoves in bulk to resell to the villagers in her rural home.
She plans to us the Kiva loan to purchase and store much larger stocks of EcoZoom cookstoves to sell to her networks and transform lives – economically and health wise – in her community. At the moment, Josephine is offering credit terms to her customers to make the products more affordable; they pay back the loan as they are saving money on fuel. Offering credit terms is an additional strain on her business, preventing her from growing her stock to meet demand.
Josephine’s dreams are to see her business expand and to be known as the go-to source for energy saving cookstoves in every household in her village.
EcoZoom 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 EcoZoom: EcoZoom is a social enterprise and certified B-Corporation that brings safe, clean, and affordable cookstoves to developing countries across Africa and Latin America. By providing clients with the means to become EcoZoom stove sales agents, the organization aims to empower workforces and local economies while also creating financially sustainable markets for clean cookstoves.
Kiva lenders’ funds will be used as starting capital to provide borrowers with in-kind loans in the form of stoves on credit. These interest-free loans will offer individuals a concrete income to lift themselves and their families from poverty, while also increasing the organization’s reach into further rural regions.