Entrepreneurship
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Kiva Launches “Farm & Table” Campaign

On September 13, Kiva.org is launching the “Farm & Table” campaign to raise over $3 million in crowdfunded loans for 2,000 small farmers and food producers in the U.S. and around the world. Visitors to Kiva.org/FarmTable can choose who they want to lend $25 or more to – a refugee farmer in Lebanon, a food truck in Alabama or an urban farmer in Detroit. During the campaign, from September 13 through 15, Kiva will match every $25 a person lends to a farmer or food producer, doubling your impact.

To help spread the word about the campaign, celebrity chefs Hugh Acheson, Seamus Mullen, and Jose Andres, have signed on as supporters.

Kiva supports small farmers like Dr. Jifunza in Pimbroke, IL who left the exam room to become an organic farmer. Through the nonprofit, Healthy Food Hub, she grows healthy and affordable foods for communities with limited year-round food access. Her $10,000 Kiva loan was crowdfunded by 232 people and helped the organization bridge the gap between racial inequality and the food system by educating and training the next generation of Black farmers. (https://www.kiva.org/lend/1088606)

To date, Kiva’s 1.6 million citizen lenders have crowdfunded $1 Billion in loans to 2 million people in 83 countries, including the U.S.  Kiva’s borrowers have a 97% repayment rate and as the borrower you choose repays, you can relend that money again and again or withdraw it from the system.

For farmers and food producers, access to capital is a critical challenge with 78% of farmers in the U.S. ranking “lack of capital” a top challenge for new farmers while 40% ranked “access to credit” as the biggest challenge.  Whatsmore, traditional lenders globally are often reluctant to offer flexible loans for food producers and small farmers alike.

Hugh Acheson, Top Chef judge and chef and owner of Five and Ten, The National and Empire State in Georgia, said, “As a successful chef who started with a very small family loan I value the importance of capitalizing dreams. Since its first year of operation I have provided capital to KIVA clients searching to build there own dreams and contribute to their own communities around the world.”

Seamus Mullen, chef and owner of Tertulia and El Comado in NYC, said, “As a business owner, I’m proud to support an organization like Kiva.  The work they are doing to uplift small business is crucial to bridging the poverty gap in this country and around the world.” Mullen continued, “By supporting Kiva, we are also helping support local food production from pastured eggs to small batch honey to urban farms.”

In the U.S., Kiva gives people a chance to not only be consumers, but also small dollar lenders to small farmers and food producers from Alaska to Appalachia, all at 0% interest and no fees and no minimum FICO score, collateral, or years of operation. As the borrower repays, lenders can relend their money to another borrower of their choice or withdraw it from the system.

Premal Shah, co-founder and president of Kiva.org, said, “By helping to crowdfund a loan to a small farmer or food producer you are helping to strengthen communities, local food movements, and sustainable agriculture. We are thrilled that so many notable chefs and leaders are joining this effort alongside the 1.7 million people lending on Kiva.”

 

To support Farm & Table or for more information please visit www.Kiva.org/FarmTable

From a release

Terry Simmons