As part of our commitment to the global community, every year Leap supports a number of small business initiatives in developing nations where access to finance is limited. 75% of these businesses are female led. Over 50% are agriculture based projects. All are located in countries classified as being in the Global South.
Leap’s annual round of microfinancing contributes to crowdfunding loans and capital through Kiva, an international nonprofit with a mission “to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive.” Around the world, over 1.7 billion people don’t have any access to financial services such as basic banking or legitimate and affordable business loans.
Most recently, Leap contributed to loans in Vietnam, Colombia, Zambia and Senegal.
Ngan is a 30 year old ethnic Thai woman who lives with her family on a farm in the northwest mountainous area of Vietnam. They grow rice and raise pigs and chickens. This aquaculture venture, funded by 73 lenders, will allow her to purchase fish and fish food that she can farm, reinvesting the profits back into their farm’s livestock. This will bring her family greater financial and food security.
Leap was one of 21 lenders who helped Enadys, a 28-year-old woman from Buenavista, Colombia, to purchase 40 chickens, feed, and building material for her poultry breeding business. Having developed her business, this next step allowed her to support internally displaced people in a state of unemployment, improve living conditions and become an agent of change
Friday is a farmer from Zambia’s Lusaka Province who wanted a loan to help pay for a solar irrigation pump, purchased through a rent-to-buy scheme. The solar submersible pump will allow him to cultivate a greater area, growing tomatoes and onions to sell locally, as well as providing drinking water for his livestock. The cost of the pump includes installation and training on how to properly use and maintain it, so that it will be a productive asset for his farm for many years.
Soda is a member of the Taiba Group, a group of dynamic women who support each other in the farming and trading of livestock in rural Senegal. Her loan, enabled by 109 lenders, was used to purchase sheep and feed, which she planned to raise and sell for profit. Soda is a mother of seven, including five daughters, and the profits from her sheep farming will go towards supporting her family including purchasing school supplies; empowering women, to empower the next generation of women.
Why Microfinancing Is Important
Education and job creation for women and girls is the sixth most powerful solution to reversing climate change. Empowering female entrepreneurs in developing nations is hugely important across a range of social issues and is of critical importance in addressing the climate crisis. That’s why we focus at least 75% of our annual microfinancing investments towards women. If you are interested in supporting similar projects and are able to invest (each project is a loan, not a donation, but the hope is that many lenders fund a loan, get repaid, and then fund another) then you can start on Kiva by lending as little as $25.