A loan of $3,100 helped to purchase cookstove products for sale to end users.

Small Scale Growers Sacco Ltd's story

Small Scale Growers SACCO (Savings and Credit Co-operative) is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the poorest members of society.

The SACCO targets people living on less than $1 a day, who have no collateral and are therefore unable to access loans through traditional banking services. Its members are mainly farmers and those working in the informal sector, such as shopkeepers, market vendors and tailors. The majority of the SACCO’s members live in rural areas and cook over inefficient open fires that produce health-damaging smoke and contribute to the deforestation that is destroying Kenya’s environment. Paradigm’s cookstoves will reduce the toxic smoke by 70% and will reduce the fuel needed to cook by up to 50%.

Small Scale Growers SACCO was started by a group of men and women who, after successful careers in business and IT, became determined to help the less fortunate start and grow businesses of their own. They started the organization with their personal savings. Since its inception in January 2012, the SACCO’s membership has grown to 7,000 members; approximately 70% are women and youth. It has seven branch offices and three mobile centers, which help reach remote members, spread mainly across Kenya’s Central Province and parts of Rift Valley Province. The SACCO mainly disburses business loans and charges an interest rate of only 10%. It has a repayment rate close to 100%.

SACCO employs 28 staff, most of whom are field-based loan collection agents. They hope to grow to 20,000 members by the end of 2013. SACCO members are all eager to purchase cook stoves, but SACCO has struggled to raise enough low-interest capital to finance the cookstoves for its members. With a loan from Kiva, Small Scale Growers will be able to offer cookstoves to its customers for a down payment of just $1 and financing over 4 months.

With a KIVA loan of $3,100 Small Scale Growers Sacco will receive 200 fuel-efficient cookstoves from Paradigm and will offer its members improved financing terms to purchase a stove. The SACCO intends to reduce the down payment to approximately $1 and allow its members to repay the cost of the stove in small weekly installments for up to four months. This will make the stoves accessible to even the lowest income members. These stoves will help to improve the health and financial stability of rural families in Kenya today.

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