At Harvest Hope, we help families in East Africa escape poverty by funding small businesses that otherwise wouldn’t be able to grow.
A generous donor has agreed to match any donations we receive before the end of the year (up to $5,000), so each dollar you donate will effectively be doubled.
We started Harvest Hope as a group of college students trying to find innovative ways to help people break out of the poverty cycle. There are still almost 2 billion people in the world that don't have access to any traditional form of banking. We saw many of these people getting taken advantage of by money lenders and loan sharks. We wanted to help them find ways to grow their businesses and change their lives without being crippled by debt.
Harvest Hope has helped change the lives of nearly 500 people thus far. We have many pre-screened applicants waiting for loans, but we currently don’t have enough capital to meet the demand. A loan of just $200 is enough to transform a business. We need your help to provide them this life-changing opportunity.
The impact of your donation will grow over time. Every time a loan is repaid, we use that same money to help a different family. Your donation will help family after family, for years to come.
What would you and your family do if you didn't have access to financial services (i.e. loans, savings, insurance, etc.)? What would you do if you owned a small business and didn't have access to banking?
In Kenya, where we operate, the majority of the population is self-employed, meaning they make a living by running their own small business. These businesses struggle to differentiate from competitors, and therefore have a hard time saving money. Before working with Harvest Hope, our borrowers save about $1 USD a day, or less. Many of our borrowers aren't able to save at all. This makes it really hard for these people to provide for their families, let alone try to grow their businesses.
Let us explain the story of one of our borrowers, who we will call Majuma. Majuma is the owner of a small fruit stand. She sells bananas, oranges, apples, and avocados. Every morning, she spends several hours going to a market to buy fruit for her stand. At the end of the day, she throws away a lot of her product, because it has gone bad. She would love to have a refrigerator, so that her fruit would last longer. It would save her money that is otherwise wasted on fruit that gets thrown away. This would also save her money and time because she wouldn't be going to the market every day, and she could spend that time at her stand selling fruit. The problem is that it would take her years to save up enough money to buy a little refrigerator. She has a few options.
Option 1: She can remain stuck where she is until she can save up enough for the refrigerator, which could take years, and may not be a realistic possibility for her.
Option 2: She can try to qualify for a traditional loan from a bank, but this will be extremely difficult because she doesn’t have credit or assets to offer as collateral.
Option 3: She can choose to get a loan through a microfinance institution. The problem with microfinance loans is that they are given at extremely high interest rates. Even though this debt doesn’t require collateral, the rates are overwhelming, and it can be crippling to small business owners.
Option 4: She can turn to Harvest Hope.
Harvest Hope is an impact-oriented organization with a mission to help low-income business owners get access to affordable financing options. In Kenya, most microfinance institutions, including non-profits, charge annual interest rates between 30% and 50%. Harvest Hope, on the other hand, charges just 1% per month (12% annual). We have found innovative ways to lower our costs, so that we may provide impactfully low-interest loans to our borrowers.
We keep our rates at 12% so that we can grow sustainably to reach more and more people, but also so we can maximize our impact in helping people improve their lives. As we have tracked our impact, we have seen that our business owners have dramatically increased their income and savings, and that they have improved their quality of life.
For people like Majuma, Harvest Hope provides the only chance to break out of the poverty cycle. We are very grateful for your support, and we know our borrowers will be too. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you!
For more information about what we do, check out our website.
(Donations will go through our sponsor 501(c)3, Tifie Humanitarian and are tax deductible.)