ASA Initiative is a Micro Finance Institution based in Cape Coast, Ghana, and operating in the central region of Ghana. ASA Initiative means Alternative Sets of Assistance as a corporate Initiative to improve the livelihood of productive poor households.

They target loan products to several sectors, with the majority of loans classified as general small business loans.  They have also added a mixture of higher -impact and higher-risk loans that could be expanded through Kiva funding.

A unique lending approach:

Kiva funding expands ASA Initiative’s loans for green energy and agriculture.  In the area of green loans, trained artisans produce and sell a new clean energy cook stoves known as ELSA Stove, which was recently developed by ASA Initiative’s project collaboration with University of Udine Italy under European Union/ACP Science and Technology program known as BeBi project. Under the project, ASA Initiative also trained Cape Coast Technical Institute in the Elsa Stove technology for onward training of their students. The stove uses palm kennel shells (virgin pellet), pellets produced locally by communities using locally available waste materials such as sawdust, corn cobs, coffee husk and other biomass for waste management. The residue after charring (biochar) is used to improve soil fertility and crop productivity of certain soil types.
Besides sale of stoves, the other financing opportunity will target entrepreneurs willing to process and sell palm kennel shells and, produce and sell pellets for the ELSA stoves using pelletizer machines.  Pelletizers are also fabricated locally with training from the Technical Institute.

The agricultural loans will initially target a group of farmers mainly specializing in lime and orange growing. The proposed loans will finance existing farmers with mature plantations of lime and orange trees to pay for farm maintenance inputs, labor, weeding and transportation to the buyers/processors. They have already identified Madrid fruit processing company who has agreed to buy directly from the farmers to guarantee income for loan repayment. Repayments will be deducted from farmer harvest revenue and paid to ASA initiative directly.

A Note on ASA Initative's Portfolio Yield:
We care deeply about the cost that Kiva borrowers pay for their loans, which is why fair pricing is a core part of our initial due diligence process for Field Partners. With Kiva's 0% capital, many of our Field Partners are also able to add additional value to their loans by reducing interest rates, offering non-financial services or creating new loan products.
For partners with reported portfolio yields or average APRs higher than 50%, Kiva takes steps to check that the high rates are justified by the impact of the loans. Kiva also verifies that the partner is not generating unreasonable profits or paying inflated salaries, and that the partner’s elevated operating costs are justified by its operating environment and/or the design of its loan products.

We seek to support loans that don’t impose an unjustifiable cost burden on hardworking borrowers. We nevertheless recognize that in order to reach vulnerable and excluded people with high-impact products and services, some of our partners incur high costs that necessitate charging higher-than-average costs to borrowers in order to allow for sustainability and scale.
Factors that drive up the costs that this partner organization charges its borrowers include:
     • They provide very small loans. This leads to higher operating costs, since providing each individual loan presents a minimum per-unit cost.
     • They focus on providing experimental loan products with elevated repayment risk. These loan products are new to their markets and aren’t available from other organizations. Testing and ultimately bringing to scale a new product comes with additional development costs.
     • They work in areas with very poor infrastructure, such as limited roads. This increases the costs of finding clients and maintaining branch offices.
     • They’re a small company or organization that hasn’t yet achieved the scale and efficiency necessary to reach sustainability and reduce pricing, but the impact of their services merits the opportunity to prove their business model.
     • They pay high interest rates on the loans they take from banks and other funders, given the market in which they operate. This means they need more support from innovative sources like Kiva to reduce costs and pass savings on to borrowers.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Jul 18, 2014 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $607,125 $974,903,975
Amount of raised Inactive loans $7,775 $446,850
Number of raised Inactive loans 3 211
Amount of Paying Back Loans $254,350 $147,400,875
Number of Paying Back Loans 140 183,981
Amount of Ended Loans $345,000 $827,056,250
Number of Ended Loans 154 1,039,701
Delinquency Rate 55.72% 8.21%
Amount in Arrears $76,228 $7,880,852
Outstanding Portfolio $136,813 $95,953,362
Number of Loans Delinquent 121 20,164
Default Rate 0.13% 1.39%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $450 $11,517,038
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 2 33,034
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 1.14% 0.45%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $6,909 $4,428,499
Refund Rate 0.33% 0.61%
Amount of Refunded Loans $2,025 $5,967,400
Number of Refunded Loans 1 5,984

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 59.71% 75.40%
Average Loan Size $590 $399
Average Individual Loan Size $1,578 $629
Average Group Loan Size $2,074 $1,760
Average number of borrowers per group 3.6 7.7
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $3,500 $5,874
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 16.86% 6.79%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 11.43 days 6.9 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $51.63 $57.76
  Average Loan Term 8.81 months 11.13 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 337 509,194
  Journaling Rate 82.50% 41.50%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.05
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 1.16

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2014 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 40% PY 53.00% PY 26.13% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) 0.89% 0.3% -1.72%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 13.00% 16.60%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Veronica Agodoa Kitti
Shannon Kossick
Janet Papawu
Susan Patterson
Wisdom Tseyi