Status update - Oct 9, 2017
Barefoot Power's final loans with Kiva have defaulted, and this partnership is now closed. For the last 20 months, Kiva has been working with Barefoot Power to try to recover the remaining outstanding amounts due to Kiva lenders.
Barefoot Power has not demonstrated reasonable efforts to collect repayments, in particular from borrowers that are still operating solvent businesses. Barefoot Power’s failure to engage in collection efforts in order to fulfil its repayment obligations constitutes a default under the Kiva Contract and entire outstanding Loan amount is due and payable to Kiva.
Kiva’s present assessment is that this Field Partner is unwilling to make further payments, and thus the remaining USD38,787 in outstanding amounts due to Kiva lenders has been defaulted. If Kiva is able to recover any additional funds from Barefoot Power, they will be applied to lenders' accounts on a pro-rata basis.
Status update - July 12, 2017
Since our last update in June 2015, Kiva has been able to recover more than $200k from Barefoot Power, which has been settled out to contributing lenders. Kiva continues to work to recover the remaining amount owed to lenders, which is approximately $30K, and determine the outcome of the remaining Barefoot Power borrowers.
Status update - June 26, 2015
Kiva and Barefoot Power have agreed to end their partnership and, as a result, Kiva will be transitioning this Field Partner to inactive status. This means Barefoot Power is no longer fundraising loans on Kiva, though Kiva fully expects the partner to continue to send repayments owed to Kiva lenders for as long as the partner has an outstanding balance.
Barefoot Power was Kiva's first partner focused on solar lighting and first SME partner, which is a small or medium-sized enterprise and is a larger business than many of the microbusinesses on Kiva. Over the past 3 years we've seen the challenges that non-financial institutions often face when attempting to launch a credit program in addition to their core business function. SME financing is also particularly risky, because this sized enterprise faces a lot of challenges to become profitable. The solar sector is also rapidly changing, and popular products can easily be displaced by a new model on the market, contributing to many of Barefoot Power's borrowers struggling to repay their loans.
Despite these challenges, Kiva still believes there are opportunities to help meet credit needs for clean energy technologies, and we are using the lessons from our work with Barefoot Power to impact future partnership decisions in this space. We thank Barefoot Power for their partnership over the past 3 years and wish them success in their future endeavors.
Barefoot Power is a for-profit social enterprise dedicated to providing affordable solar lighting and phone charging solutions to low-income populations that do not have access to electricity. By manufacturing and selling their lights through a diverse network of distributors and retailers, Barefoot provides families and communities with a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to kerosene -- the lighting solution widely used by poor and low-income communities across the world.
Why replace kerosene? The poor burn USD$17 billion of kerosene each year in lanterns to light their homes. Kerosene is expensive, and the poor lighting from lamps makes it difficult for children to study and minimizes effective working hours for adults. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are over 300,000 deaths every year from burns, and nearly 4 million women suffer from severe burns from open fires and kerosene lighting each year (approximately the number who are diagnosed with AIDS each year). In addition, more children die from respiratory illnesses caused by inhaling smoke and kerosene fumes in enclosed spaces than from tuberculosis or malaria.
In order to combat this energy poverty, Barefoot designs and manufactures a range of “micro-solar” lighting products that use long-lasting, white LED technology. Recognized for high quality and affordability, Barefoot’s products are now available in 75 countries, providing over 600,000 people with alternatives to kerosene.
A unique lending approach:
Through Barefoot, Kiva is supplying loans to lighting distributors and retailers to help accelerate adoption amongst poor communities and help create more jobs. Because these loans are used to buy major shipments of product, they are often larger than the average loans on Kiva. Offered at zero-interest, this financing allows energy entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in centralized locations that have high upfront costs but higher sales volumes -- making an even bigger impact.
The partnership with Kiva will give Barefoot additional support to pursue its social objectives, including:
1) Access to electricity: Expanding access to 10 million people, or 2 million households, by 2015.
2) Job creation: Creating about 3,000 new energy entrepreneur jobs in local markets.
3) More studying: With light, students will have more hours to study, eventually leading to higher household incomes.
4) The end of kerosene: Households will save and reinvest money they would have spent on pricey kerosene -- and on medical bills for illnesses caused by its toxic fumes.
5) Saving lives: To save between 50 and 100 lives by 2013 by eliminating kerosene lamps. Between 15,000 and 40,000 people die every year from burns, often caused by kerosene. Women and children are the most common victims.
Barefoot also has several high-level environmental objectives, including the reduction of 300,000 tons of greenhouse gases by 2015, and the reduction of toxic battery disposal. It has already made headway in both areas.
The company has shown exceptional growth, driven largely by consumer demand. Today, it has three subsidiaries based in Kenya, Uganda and Hong Kong. Its primary barrier to expansion is funding, causing some gaps in its supply chain. The partnership to Kiva is helping to fill these gaps as Barefoot enters new markets.
Because Barefoot Power’s core business is not microfinance, there is some level of additional risk for lenders. Kiva’s partnership with the company is unique and unprecedented. For this reason, Kiva has not assigned the organization a risk rating.
Repayment Performance on Kiva
|This Field Partner||All Kiva Partners|
|Start Date On Kiva||May 15, 2012||Oct 12, 2005|
|Amount of raised Inactive loans||$0||$2,726,750|
|Number of raised Inactive loans||0||596|
|Amount of Paying Back Loans||$0||$149,925,600|
|Number of Paying Back Loans||0||195,316|
|Amount of Ended Loans||$560,100||$1,258,618,500|
|Number of Ended Loans||27||1,626,990|
|Amount in Arrears||$0||$24,523,063|
|Number of Loans Delinquent||0||131,448|
|Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted||$127,520||$22,187,519|
|Number of Ended Loans Defaulted||11||53,814|
|Currency Exchange Loss Rate||0.01%||0.39%|
|Amount of Currency Exchange Loss||$42||$5,484,508|
|Amount of Refunded Loans||$0||$8,892,600|
|Number of Refunded Loans||0||8,400|
Loan Characteristics On Kiva
|This Field Partner||All Kiva Partners|
|Loans to Women Borrowers||21.43%||76.46%|
|Average Loan Size||$20,004||$394|
|Average Individual Loan Size||$21,491||$611|
|Average Group Loan Size||$1,325||$1,762|
|Average number of borrowers per group||2||7.8|
|Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country||$1,800||$5,743|
|Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP)||1,111.31%||6.86%|
|Average Time to Fund a Loan||5.63 days||7.19 days|
|Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan||$3,555.80||$54.79|
|Average Loan Term||11.14 months||11.38 months|
Journaling Performance on Kiva
|This Field Partner||All Kiva Partners|
|Average Number of Comments Per Journal||0.00||0.03|
|Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal||0.00||0.74|
Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2012 data)
|This Field Partner||Median for MFI's in Country||All Kiva Partners|
|Average Cost to Borrower||0% APR||36.00% PY||25.93% PY|
|Profitability (return on assets)||N/A||0.5%||-2.02%|
|Average Loan Size (% of per capita income)||N/A||56.00%||12.51%|
Country Fast Facts
- Official Language:
- English (official), Kiswahili (official)
- Avg Annual Income:
- Labor Force:
- agriculture: 75%, industry and services: 25%
- Population Below Poverty Line:
- Literacy Rate:
- Infant Mortality Rate (per 1000):
- 40.71 deaths
- Life Expectancy:
- 63.52 years
Field Partner StaffJohn Altmann