Apr 22, 2011 KV Kiva HQ
By Kate Heryford
Kiva.org Announces “Green Loans,” Extending Its Global Microlending Marketplace to Support Sustainable Businesses on Earth Day!

Dearest Kiva Community,

We have some very exciting news that we are thrilled to be announcing today! As many of you know, today is Earth Day and environmental consciousness is a cause Kiva is deeply invested in. It is our belief that there is great opportunity in the world, at this moment in time, to decrease our footprint, increase our environmental consciousness, and create a world more committed to sustainability that generations to come can enjoy. This is why, with such enthusiasm, we are excited to launch Kiva Green Loans on our website, today!

Kiva Green Loans are a category of business and personal loans microloans for entrepreneurs who run sustainable businesses that focus on reducing waste, recycling and minimizing pollution. Green loans can include both business and personal loans that contribute towards reducing waste and pollution, recycling, or repurposing used materials.

"Much of the developing world spends hours a day gathering wood and other materials for fuel, losing countless hours and often inadvertently damaging the environment. This can create a lack of access to electricity and heat, often called 'Energy Poverty,' that can have a big impact on quality of life," said Premal Shah, President of Kiva.org. "Microfinance can help provide solutions for energy poverty problems like these by, for example, funding the purchase of high-efficiency cookers and low propane gas stoves. Green loans can not only save the borrowers money, but also help reduce our collective impact on the environment."

Kiva Green Loans will be easy to find on Kiva.org and can be accessed from the new Green Loans tab on the home page. An example of the types of loans listed here is Blanca Rosa of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Rosa requested a $500 loan from Kiva to help her expand her business of converting taxi engines to run on natural gas. She was able to purchase an emulator, timing devices, iron, bolts, and other supplies for her gas conversion workshop, where she notes that many vehicles are undergoing the conversion from gasoline to natural gas because it is more affordable, reduces fuel costs and helps reduce air pollution: http://www.kiva.org/lend/229893



Other examples of Green Loans include loans to create or purchase organic fertilizer; loans to purchase renewable energy-generating devices, such as solar panels, wind power and biofuels; loans for transportation, including hybrid cars, converting cars to natural gas or purchasing a bicycle; loans for “green” home improvements, including more efficient heating methods or high-efficiency cookers/low propane gas stoves; and recycling-related loans, such as re-purposing or transforming used or recycled materials.
In honor of Earth Day, consider lending to a Green Loan today, or to learn more about how you can help support the green microloan movement in general, visit www.kiva.org/lend.

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