How We Work with Kiva
to Expand the Native Plant Industry
MAKING $15,000 INTEREST-FREE LOANS AVAILABLE TO SMALL GROWERS
Funding from banks, the Small Business Administration and other sources is often too costly and simply unavailable to the very small entities that start local native plant nurseries.
We have partnered with Kiva, a nonprofit and leader in micro-loans, to bring needed, affordable financing to the native plant industry. We are a Kiva US Trustee, bringing the power of micro-loans to micro-enterprises in the native plant industry, not currently represented on Kiva or any similar platform.
Kiva's micro-loan model is proven for underserved, cause-aligned borrowers & lenders. Kiva US has made nearly $60 million in loans to almost 10,000 borrowers, with a 96% repayment rate.
As a Kiva Trustee, we find, evaluate, endorse and support borrowers starting or expanding native plant businesses. We use our funds, native plant industry expertise, and connections in the native plant movement to help borrowers obtain Kiva loans and succeed in their business.
- Kiva loans up to $15,000
- No interest, no fees
Loans must be repaid according to terms set by Kiva, generally not more than 36 months, starting six months after receipt of funding.
We prioritize endorsement of borrowers who will:
- Create or expand a native plant business in Florida
- Expand the diversity of native plant species that an existing business sells
For now, the program is limited to businesses starting or operating within Florida.
Borrowers seeking endorsement must be one of:
- Individuals or organizations in Florida wishing to initiate a new native plant micro-enterprise.*
- Existing native plant micro-enterprises in Florida that lack capacity to expand or sustain their sales.
*A micro-enterprise is a very small native plant business, with typically fewer than ten staff or $300,000/year in gross sales.
HOW IT WORKS
- Borrower applies for our endorsement
- We make endorsement decision (onsite visit required)
- Borrower signs endorsement agreement and applies to Kiva for loan
- Kiva approves borrower
- We assist borrower in obtaining loans from individuals via the Kiva platform
- Loan is funded through Kiva
- Kiva manages the loan
- Borrower pays loan back to Kiva
- Kiva pays back individual lenders
Applications are accepted at any time. We will work quickly to help you.
Borrowers: get our endorsement
Native Plant Lovers
Help new native plant nurseries get started or existing small operations expand, diversify and become more economically sustainable.
Approved applicants will be visited by a foundation representative prior to our final decision on endorsement. If we decide to endorse, we send the borrower an agreement detailing communication requirements and other responsibilities.
We do not provide direct funding to borrowers. We lend through the Kiva platform, and may do via a "matching funds" model to encourage other lenders.
Endorsed borrowers apply directly through Kiva to be approved for the loan amount and terms. Prior to going public on the Kiva platform, borrowers prove credit worthiness by raising money from friends and family. After this “private” fundraising phase is over, the loan goes public on Kiva. We provide “friends” and funds during both phases to help borrowers obtain their full requested loan amount.
Kiva is a U.S. 501c3 nonprofit with offices around the world. Kiva US partners with organizations like ours to offer affordable microloans to entrepeneurs. Since 2011, Kiva has facilitated the crowdfunding of $29 million from 230,000 lenders to 5500 borrowers, 81% of whom were women.