Total loan: $18,725


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Kigali, Kigali, Rwanda / Retail

Amri's loan finished fundraising,
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A loan helped To buy clean cookstoves to sell to women's groups.

Amri's story

Nearly two decades after a tragic genocide devastated Rwanda, the nation has made great strides to recovery and has become of the most business-friendly countries in Africa. Yet it is still one of the poorest countries in Africa, with an average household income of just $1.45 per day. Nearly 80% of Rwanda’s population lives in its mountainous rural terrain. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves estimates that over 8.5 million people in Rwanda are affected by household air pollution caused by cooking over open fires. The Paradigm Project has long been passionate about working in Rwanda to help alleviate the burden on household finances and health that is caused by cooking over open fires. We launched our EzyLife brand in Rwanda in 2012 in anticipation of finding a great business partner whom we could work with to build a local EzyLife business. We first met Amri, who founded SERVE and SMILE to help bring life-improving products to the people of Rwanda, when he joined our campaign to pilot a market-based system for delivering cookstoves and solar lights to rural Rwanda. After nearly a year of working together, we are delighted to help Amri launch his own business in Rwanda with a Kiva loan that will purchase 2,880 cookstoves. “This loan will make our company dream comes true by stepping to the bottom of the pyramid as we are solving problems of the poor at the same time creating jobs in rural areas, mostly to women entrepreneurs (village agents),” said Amri when he heard about the Kiva loan opportunity. Amri will launch his business in partnership with two unique groups: he will work with CARE, an international non-profit organization that is working with EzyLife to train 100 women entrepreneurs in rural areas who will do direct sales of Amri’s cookstoves. He will also work with a vast network of community groups supporting survivors of the genocide, also helping to recruit and train women as cookstove entrepreneurs and sales agents. Through these two groups, there is already vast demand for the product – Amri is worried about having enough stoves to serve everyone in need! With this Kiva loan, he will be able to purchase enough stoves to satisfy the growing demand and sell them at a profit so that he can continue to grow his business in the future.