Status update - March 22, 2012: 

Senegal Ecovillage Microfinance (SEM) Fund's final loans with Kiva have ended, and Kiva's partnership with SEM is now closed. Of the remaining 10 SEM loans outstanding, three have been repaid, and funds have been distributed to lenders. The remaining seven loans have been updated to "defaulted" status due to an inability to recover repayments despite efforts to collect.

SEM was one of Kiva's very first field partners, joining us in partnership almost six years ago. We sincerely thank SEM for working so closely with Kiva, and for supporting us since the earliest days of the organization. 

Partner Description:

The Senegal Ecovillage Microfinance Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating poverty in Senegal by providing affordable business loans. These loans are designed to strengthen the businesses and skillsets of highly-motivated micro-entrepreneurs who otherwise lack access to the commercial banking system. Specifically, this institution focuses on helping the poverty-stricken villages that belong to Senegal's Global Ecovillage Network (GEN).

SEM's mission is to help break the cycle of poverty for people in developing countries. The organization is based on the principle that effective and sustainable development can be achieved by expanding opportunities for poor people to control their own economic futures.

Listen to an interview with SEM's Director and Co-founder John Fay here.

Status update - December 10, 2010:

SEM currently has $18,118 in loans on Kiva currently in arrears, out of a total outstanding portfolio of $23,398. As a result, its delinquency rate as expressed on the Kiva website is currently 77.43%.

Kiva's Dakar-based team continues to work closely with SEM to help ensure that accurate repayment information is being posted to the Kiva website. In October of this year, Kiva's Field Support Specialist and Regional Development Officer for Francophone Africa visited SEM to help further these efforts and to continue to work on collecting loan repayments. In addition, Kiva's team keeps in touch with SEM every month over email and telephone.

SEM continues to remit payments to Kiva at the rate at which they collect payments from their clients. In December of 2010, SEM sent Kiva $1,557.18 in funds collected on their Kiva loans. While SEM faces substantial difficulties in collecting payments on their outstanding loans, we are encouraged by their continued efforts, prompt reporting and open communication with the Kiva team.

We will continue to work with SEM to help ensure accurate reporting and to work towards collecting further repayments. We remain committed to potentially re-opening the fundraising partnership in the future, and will keep this page updated with further updates as information becomes available.

 Status update - August 16, 2010:

After a careful review, Kiva is releasing funds previously held in reserve on behalf of SEM borrowers. As a result, its delinquency rate should fall from its current level of 59.74%.

Kiva made the decision to place incoming funds from SEM into a reserve in April 2010 after learning of some difficulties they were facing with making collections on their loans. In response to delinquency across their portfolio, SEM's team decided to temporarily refocus their staff away from making new loans and towards collecting funds from their existing borrowers. This reflected SEM’s decision to use their limited local staff in the most strategic and effective manner possible.

As a result, Kiva shortly thereafter changed SEM’s fundraising status from “active” to “paused.” In addition, Kiva felt it was prudent at that time to carefully verify the accuracy of the repayment data it was receiving from SEM. While we took the time to do that, we made the decision to hold any funds received from SEM in reserve until we could determine whether or not SEM was consistently reporting actual repayments made from borrowers to SEM. In the event that we could not verify that the accuracy of the repayment reports, the reserve ensured that we could pool the repayments across affected Kiva lenders and pay them out on a pro-rata share basis.

Since April, Kiva’s Dakar-based team has worked closely on-site with SEM to ensure that accurate repayment information was being posted to the Kiva website. After a few months of close collaboration with SEM’s team, we feel we can have confidence in the information being submitted to Kiva. As such, Kiva has made the decision to release the reserve of SEM funds. Kiva lenders who have lent to SEM borrowers have had their accounts credited with the amount that their borrowers have actually paid back to SEM. This release was executed today, causing SEM’s delinquency rate to fall from its current level. SEM's delinquency rate should fall to a rate that reflects the amount that borrowers have yet to repay.

We regret any inconvenience that the delay in updating Kiva lenders about both pausing SEM and placing borrower repayments in reserve may have caused. We've made significant strides in posting more regular partner updates, and greatly appreciate the patience Kiva lenders have shown.

We continue to work with SEM on reporting, and also to monitor their operational situation. We remain committed to potentially re-opening the fundraising partnership in the future. We will keep this page updated in the coming months as new information becomes available.

 Status update - March 24, 2010:

SEM's delinquency rate has recently increased as a result of changes to operational policies and some errors within SEM's internal Loan Management System. Budgetary constraints have limited the time that credit agents have spent visiting clients and this lack of borrower interaction has negatively impacted repayment processes more than was initially thought. In addition, some errors within the information system have complicated the loan tracking process and allowed some groups to fall behind on their repayments.

We are pleased to say that the errors in the information system have been identified and our credit agents are now carrying out targeted visits to borrower groups who are struggling to meet their repayment deadlines. Changes in management have been implemented over the last 2 1/2 months to address these problems going forward. We apologize to Kiva lenders who have been affected by these delinquencies and hope that you will bear with us while we make these necessary changes to our operations.

Status update - August 6, 2009:

Kiva recently modified its methodology for assessing the level of risk presented by its Field Partners. This new process is more rigorous and measures partner performance along additional key dimensions of risk. SEM's new risk rating stems directly from the switch to this new methodology and is not a reflection of any changes at SEM, nor does it incorporate elements of social performance such as SEM’s outstanding journaling rate on Kiva or the impact of SEM loans in improving the lives of loan recipients.

To date, SEM has had a 100% repayment rate on all Kiva loans.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Feb 15, 2006 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $352,500 $1,587,499,170
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $426,700
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 155
Amount of Paying Back Loans $0 $167,699,020
Number of Paying Back Loans 0 205,385
Amount of Ended Loans $352,500 $1,419,373,450
Number of Ended Loans 292 1,873,776
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 17.33%
Amount in Arrears $0 $18,633,133
Outstanding Portfolio $0 $107,519,133
Number of Loans Delinquent 0 84,888
Default Rate 5.13% 1.70%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $18,081 $24,144,827
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 39 60,140
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.01% 0.40%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $29 $6,908,865
Refund Rate 6.88% 0.60%
Amount of Refunded Loans $24,250 $9,457,725
Number of Refunded Loans 19 8,817

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 75.24% 77.40%
Average Loan Size $309 $392
Average Individual Loan Size $1,028 $602
Average Group Loan Size $1,321 $1,797
Average number of borrowers per group 5.7 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $2,300 $5,685
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 13.43% 6.90%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 1.49 days 8.05 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $207.21 $48.69
  Average Loan Term 11.09 months 11.35 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 701 967,953
  Journaling Rate 99.65% 42.42%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.75 0.03
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 6.34 0.68

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2009 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower N/A 23.00% PY 26.61% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A -0.1% -0.38%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 46.00% 11.35%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Julia Blue
Sire Diallo
Adama Faye
Nicola Goh
Sheila Harrington
Noëlla Preira
Jonathon Repinecz
Ngone Thiang