Kiva conducts regular, ongoing monitoring of all Field Partners, but only posts status updates here in response to relevant, major changes at the partner. 

Status update — June 15, 2016

Kiva and Paradigm Project have agreed to end their partnership after over 3 years and more than $35,000 in loans raised. This Field Partner has repaid its outstanding balance to Kiva in full, and these funds have been distributed to lenders. We thank Paradigm Project for the years of collaboration and wish them success in their future endeavors.

Partner description:

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. Headquartered in the U.S. with direct operations in Kenya and Ethiopia, the organization works through its overseas subsidiaries and select distribution partners to supply clean-burning cookstoves directly to consumers.

Over 2.5 billion people in the developing world burn charcoal or use open fires to cook their food, leading to nearly 4 million deaths each year from exposure to indoor air pollution. In addition to the adverse health effects, open fires are incredibly inefficient, leading to high consumption of wood and charcoal and contributing to deforestation in countries already burdened by a changing climate and limited natural resources. Finally, buying wood or charcoal places a heavy financial burden on families who spend up to 35% of their household income on cooking fuel.

In Kenya, TPP works though it’s local subsidiary, EzyLife, to sell high-efficiency cookstoves to consumers in the country’s lowest income brackets. Additionally, the company is working to expand its supply chain to include solar lights, water filtration products and clean, sustainable fuels, creating additional benefits to consumers who need these technologies.

Traditionally, clean cookstove programs have used small-scale local manufacturing and local materials to offer products that are low quality with an average cost of US $5 to $10. In contrast, TPP offers consumers more durable mass-manufactured products that feature higher performance and consistency at a cost o $20 to $40 on average.

Kiva lenders’ funds are used by TPP to offer loans to consumers interested in purchasing high-quality, high-efficiency cookstoves. Additionally, these funds help the organization decrease its interest rates on loan products, enabling more customers to access credit for stoves.

A unique lending approach:

TPP is working on a wood and charcoal stove program throughout rural Kenya with a specific focus on low income (US$1.25 to $2.25 per day) women.  The cookstoves TPP distributes significantly reduce fuel consumption and toxic emissions when compared to cooking over an open fire.  For customers, this translates to lower household expenditures, time savings, and an overall improvement in quality of life.  

Our field research has shown that affordability – much more so than price – is the primary barrier to women obtaining our products.  This means that demand for the product is high at the current offered price, but our customers’ disposable income is limited. Women understand that a reduction in fuel consumption leads to a an increase in household savings.  When a stove is financed, these savings can be realized and directly applied to the purchase of an asset that will provide the family with a very real financial return for up to 3-5 years.

TPP has helped families collectively save an estimated $8 million by replacing wood and charcoal fires with energy-efficient stoves. The organization also creates local jobs in Kenya.

For its efforts, TPP was named the most promising social enterprise in America in 2012 by Bloomberg/BusinessWeek and has been one of B-Corp’s “Best for the World” for two years in a row.

Watch this short video about The Paradigm Project’s work and impact.

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

Media courtesy of The Paradigm Project.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Mar 1, 2013 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $36,350 $1,609,571,270
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $789,775
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 772
Amount of Paying Back Loans $0 $165,849,000
Number of Paying Back Loans 0 203,252
Amount of Ended Loans $36,350 $1,442,932,495
Number of Ended Loans 7 1,907,594
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 17.11%
Amount in Arrears $0 $17,820,358
Outstanding Portfolio $0 $104,179,775
Number of Loans Delinquent 0 75,481
Default Rate 0.00% 1.71%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $0 $24,720,663
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 0 61,845
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.40%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $7,011,687
Refund Rate 8.53% 0.59%
Amount of Refunded Loans $3,100 $9,486,250
Number of Refunded Loans 1 8,847

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 50.00% 77.44%
Average Loan Size $1,160 $392
Average Individual Loan Size $5,532 $600
Average Group Loan Size $725 $1,805
Average number of borrowers per group 27 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $1,800 $5,672
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 64.46% 6.91%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 2.62 days 8.07 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $442.04 $48.58
  Average Loan Term 4.62 months 11.36 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 9 980,839
  Journaling Rate 85.71% 42.27%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.03
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 0.67

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2015 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 20% APR 36.00% PY 26.41% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A 0.5% -0.57%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 56.00% 11.35%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

David Barber
Neil Bellefeuille