Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Introducing Kiva's Newest Nicaraguan Field Partner!

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Kiva's newest Nicaraguan field partner, Micredito. Micredito was founded in 2004 with the goal of providing appropriate and sustainable credit products to urban and rural businesses in Nicaragua. During their short 6 year history MiCredito has established a client base of 2,500 clients spread over 5 branch locations in Nicaragua.

Kiva is particularly excited about working with MiCredito in supporting an innovative student loan product that they are currently piloting. In early October MiCredito started working with the Universidad Catolica del Tropico Seco in Esteli, Nicaragua - an agriculture university in the north of the country - to provide financing for projects that allow students to put theory learned in the classroom into practice. The initial pilot for this project included a group of students that are producing and commercializing cabbage and a group of students that are processing dairy products to be sold at their school's market. MiCredito is providing these students with loans that are tailored towards their specific projects. The students involved with these projects spoke of feeling empowered by their loans and were excited to get a chance to experience taking on financial responsibility and running a real business while still in school. The hope is that this will prepare the students to become small business owners when they finish their studies and them how to manage credit responsibly. This program is still in pilot phase but MiCredito plans on expanding this program to 400-500 students in their 3rd, 4th and 5th year of school over the next year with the help of Kiva funding.

We encourage you to fund MiCredito's student loans that are currently active on our site and to continue to support their clients as they start to post more loans.