Seed Capital – Um, Literally.
By Lyel Resner, KF11 Peru
EDPYME Alternativa is a fast-groing microfinance provider based in Chiclayo – the commercial hub of Northern Peru. Kiva´s low cost of capital has enabled EDPYME to expand their market and target extremely low-income borrowers. In fact, EDPYME has built a loan product exclusively for Kiva borrowers – Capital Semilla, or Seed Capital – designed to meet the needs of their poorest clients. Many in this client base are farmers – they use Capital Semilla loans of $200-$600 to buy crop seeds (no lack of irony here in Peru), livestock, rent agricultural machinery, and in the case of Oscar and his neighbors, secure the funds needed to build and maintain a well to irrigate their fields.
Please enjoy this embarrassingly crude video of my journey with mi estimado Cesar, one of the dedicated credit analysts at EDPYME, to meet with Oscar and other clients. Cesar and EDPYMEs team of hard-working analysts begin their workday each morning promptly at 8am, when they head dutifully into the field to meet with borrowers through the early afternoon. Cesar covers the northern rural districts, a solid 40km outside of the city, which meant that I scored a frantic moto ride through the harried alleys of Chiclayo, and a more serene trip through the many breathtaking landscapes of the Peruvian countryside.
You´ll notice that Cesar proved adept at navigating typical Chiclayan street traffic – a pushcart of chicken feet (0:18), a hatchback full of platanos (0:22), and of course, that staple of gridlock on the Pan-American, the obligatory donkey-drawn wagon (0:25).
Once you´ve gotten over the Spielbergian production-quality, hopefully you´ll notice the functioning well in the middle of the dry river bed, and more importantly, Oscar´s well-irrigated field of crops! Let´s hear it for aquafiers!
Well done, Kiva Lenders.'