The Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) received more exciting news this week. After a lengthy review process, the non-profit community lending institution was officially approved as an experimental partner with KIVA – an international non-profit with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. KIVA is known internationally as the trailblazer of peer-to-peer lending via the worldwide web.
KIVA leverages the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions to help create opportunity around the world. They have more than 1 million individual lenders, who have collectively financed $561 million of loans worldwide. The repayment rate for these loans is 98.87%. Kiva works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. One hundred percent of these loans are sent to the microfinance institutions, which are called Field Partners, who administer the loans in the field. SELF now becomes one of the approved KIVA Field Partners. Wesley Schrock, Portfolio Associate for KIVA, said, “We think that SELF would be a good fit for Kiva’s experimental partnership program.”
SELF’s Executive Director, Doug Coward, said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with a world leader in microfinance.” He added, “This new partnership will help SELF raise funds from small individual investors all around the world and further advance our mission.” Duanne Andrade, SELF’s Chief Financial Officer, added, “This partnership will help individuals in our community who have the most need for home energy improvements and cannot currently access traditional financial systems.”
SELF is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) focused on achieving triple bottom line benefits in underserved communities through cost-effective energy retrofits. To date, SELF has financed more than $2 million of home energy improvements throughout the Treasure Coast region of Florida.