THRIVE Microfinance is a for-profit Zimbabwean microfinance institution that utilizes the group lending methodology, lends only to women and provides auxiliary training before and during the lending process.
Founded in 2012 by former Kiva Fellow Henry Bartram, the organization provides productive business loans.
A unique lending approach:
THRIVE currently loans to approximately 25 groups with $190,000 outstanding. The organization issues productive business loans, for a maximum of $500 for the first loans. Thrive charges between 3% and 5% interest each month. For more information on the company's approach and reasoning for these rates please see the partner note below.
Zimbabwe suffers from a chronic shortage of available credit. From 1999 to 2009, the country suffered from hyperinflation. This reduced the value of the currency to zero and destroyed savings and capital. During this time, many financial organizations collapsed, and the ones that survived are still very weak.  
With Kiva’s support, THRIVE will be able to finance many more groups of women, providing opportunities for those who would not otherwise have access to capital and financial support.

A note from THRIVE:

THRIVE is an independent organization and does not exist within a larger network that can support its operations.  It receives no funding from governments or other charitable organizations.  It is run on the basis of sustainability so that it is not dependent upon the support of third parties for its survival.  If we fall, there is no one to catch us and we operate in a challenging environment where many similar organizations have fallen.
Any profits are retained in the business for the benefits of borrowers – no dividends or bonuses are paid.  We expect to be broadly break –even in 2014, our third year of existence.  We actively seek ways to reduce the cost to borrowers and recently introduced a lower rate so that borrowers borrowing less than $275, pay 3%/month compared with 5% for all other borrowers.  As we can reduce borrowing costs we will do so.
Zimbabwe is a high-cost economy.  Following hyperinflation, there is very little liquidity and our next-best alternative source of funds after Kiva costs us about 17% per annum.  THRIVE’s interest rates compare very well with nearly all lenders in Zimbabwe.
Costs to borrowers do not only consist of interest costs.  We spend a long time training borrowers and this is a key reason for our higher interest rates – we have to recover these costs.  As a result, we make fewer bad loans, which is demonstrated by the fact that our bad debts compare well with most other MFIs in Zimbabwe.
We believe that avoiding bad loans is a key responsibility.  We only lend for business purposes.  Bad loans are very costly to borrowers.  An inappropriate loan at low interest rates is more difficult to repay than an appropriate loan at a higher interest rate because the underlying income generation is not there.  The key to affordability for the borrower is not the interest rate (unless it is exorbitant) but whether the loan is to support a well thought-through business application that is likely to succeed.
Our training does not only help us to avoid bad loans.  It also helps our borrowers to manage their financial affairs more effectively.  We believe that the ability to make good financial decisions is a key life skill.  Even though we could reduce the interest rate if we reduced the amount of training, we do not believe that it is in our borrowers’ interests to do so.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva May 8, 2014 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $89,375 $596,456,075
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $749,875
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 614
Amount of Paying Back Loans $89,375 $119,690,425
Number of Paying Back Loans 56 127,535
Amount of Ended Loans $0 $476,015,775
Number of Ended Loans 0 603,926
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 3.74%
Amount in Arrears $0 $2,923,153
Outstanding Portfolio $59,176 $78,164,901
Number of loanDelinquent 0 10,814
Default Rate 0.00% 1.12%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $0 $5,345,655
Amount of Ended Loans $0 $476,015,775
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 0 16,811
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.09%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $538,749
Refund Rate 0.00% 0.76%
Amount of Refunded Loans $0 $4,537,625
Number of Refunded Loans 0 5,064

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 100.00% 74.20%
Average Loan Size $384 $418
Average Individual Loan Size $0 $656
Average Group Loan Size $1,596 $1,829
Average number of borrowers per group 4.2 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $400 $3,427
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 95.90% 12.20%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 9.73 days 5.64 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $39.40 $74.12
  Average Loan Term 6.95 months 10.37 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 0 297,569
  Journaling Rate 0.00% 42.38%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.08
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 1.86

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2013 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 75% PY 59.00% PY 33.26% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A N/A -1.45%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 138.00% 40.88%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Henry Bartram
Daisy Sibanda