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New financing for small farmers:

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Kiva and Greenhorns working together to help small farmers grow their businesses

tinyfield-farm-bk-ghKatrina and Keely, Founders of Tinyfield Farm in Brooklyn, NY

The Greenhorns and Kiva are working together to help farmers access the capital and customers they need to successfully grow their businesses. Over the next few months, The Greenhorns will host a series of articles and podcasts about how farmers can benefit from a 0% interest, crowdfunded loan from Kiva at various stages in their business’ lifecycle.

 

Imagine the perfect growing season for your farm. It’s probably a warm, sunny one and the frost stayed away long enough for you to complete your harvest. You’re popular at your farmers markets, always selling out, and your delivery van didn’t break down once! People are raving about your produce: they’re writing great reviews and are signing up for your CSA.

It’s the type of season that fills you with pride.

Now imagine a season where things start to go wrong. The weather takes a turn for the worse and a field gets flooded, your delivery van breaks down on the way to market, the birds are more numerous than usual and are destroying your food…The list goes on and on.

Running a farm can be a stressful affair, especially when it comes to dealing with uncertainty.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Hundreds of farmers have found peace-of-mind by raising 0% interest capital for their businesses from Kiva, a nonprofit that supports U.S. entrepreneurs.

Since 2012, Kiva has helped hundreds of farmers raise over $2 million in funding – all without charging a single cent of interest or fees.

As a nonprofit, Kiva is dedicated to increasing access to capital for business owners who need it the most: people who are unable to raise money for their business from traditional sources, like banks.

With 8,000 small business loan applications rejected in the U.S. every day, more and more entrepreneurs are turning to alternative sources of financing, and Kiva is here to help.

Kiva is a crowdfunding platform like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, except instead of donations or purchases, the “crowd” makes 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs fundraising on the platform.

Kiva’s “crowd” is made up of 1.5 million supportive lenders around the world, many of whom lend locally and become business’ new customers, brand ambassadors and fans.

Like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, entrepreneurs create a campaign where they tell their story and why they’re raising money. Unlike Indiegogo and Kickstarter, entrepreneurs on Kiva have a 90% public funding success rate.

Even better, farmers have a 98% funding success rate on Kiva!

Over the next few months, The Greenhorns will post a series of articles and podcasts about how a Kiva loan can support at different stages in a farm’s lifecycle. These posts will be anchored in stories of real entrepreneurs, who have grown their business through Kiva.

 

theo                  liz

Theo, Co-Owner of Helios Farms                        Liz, Co-Owner of Happy Hollow Farm

These entrepreneurs are people like Liz, co-owner of Happy Hollow Farm, who borrowed $10,000 to build three high tunnels that extended her growing season; and Theo, co-owner of Helios Farms, who borrowed $5,000 to help purchase a refrigerated trailer to serve as a butcher shop and walk-in cooler.

More than just capital, Liz and Theo had 337 people from Kiva’s community lend to them! These entrepreneurs now have larger networks of people who believe in them and their businesses.

This is the power of Kiva. Kiva’s community of lenders truly believes in supporting small business owners and shows so by expecting only the money they lent in return for their investment.

Every farmer has their off-days, and Kiva is here to help them realize more perfect ones.

Check in again next week for a new story, and to learn more about Kiva, visit us.kiva.org/greenhorns or email questions to borrowers@kiva.org.

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