Micro-financing has been a valuable tool for ACE and we are very grateful for our lenders on Kiva, who fund groups of our customers to allow them to invest in their health, environment and wellbeing by buying the ACE 1 Cookstove. Through Kiva’s micro-financing platform, farmers to fashionistas have been able to flourish and be alleviated from the cycle of poverty. We certainly think that Kiva is a game-changing platform for anyone to invest towards something that they believe in.
To kickstart 2017 with some positive vibes, we wanted to highlight one of our favourite Kiva success stories: a small micro-financing team that had a very successful 2016. The lending team, Intellectually Disabled Micro bankers with family and friends (INDIMICRO), started in late 2014 to make a difference for people who need it and empower their intellectually disabled members. The team originally started in Norway and is composed of diverse members looking towards creating jobs for people with intellectual disabilities worldwide.
“We love the idea that we can create our own banks and participate in changing the rules for what banking is about.”
The 30 members are working hard to provide funding for various different people and projects with diverse goals, and we at ACE are honoured that they have chosen to support our customers as well. The team has members stretching across the world, from USA, Sweden, Norway, Australia, and Germany and was started to help those struggling with similar intellectual challenges.
“We think it makes a difference that people with intellectual disabilities finance other people in the same situation.”
INDIMICRO has made almost 3000 loans across the globe and they have invested in a variety of individuals and projects. They distributed 310 loans just in the month of December 2016 and have now distributed a whopping $70,500 worldwide.
“The Bank of Sofie”
Micro-financing starts at a young age in INDIMICRO. Sofie is 11 years old and is unable to read or write. Nevertheless, she is excellent iPad user and is able to fund different people through “The Bank of Sofie”. Sofie and her father are able to log on to Kiva.org together and Sofie is able to choose who to lend money to. With her Bank, she is able to lend money by herself by a press of a button. Sofie likes to lend to people who buy livestock for farming and ladies in pretty dresses. We’re so impressed that this young ‘CEO’ of “The Bank of Sofie” is contributing to the empowerment of women and female entrepreneurs at such a young age. This small family is a part of a larger network, working together to make a difference in the world. This family also likes to fund individuals and groups who invest in the ACE 1, and have been long-term supporters of ACE, having an incredible impact on almost 70 families (around 350 people)!
Sofie’s parents wanted to show her the potential of the ACE 1 in person, so they ordered one in her favourite colour: “Elsa Blue”. They told us they were easily able to warm up their cabin with the ACE 1 without emitting any smoke and the family uses their stove during their bicycle day trips to cook food along the way. We loved hearing from them about their long-term support of ACE and how they have helped other members to join in and increase their independence as well.
“We are moms and dads and friends who work together with our children and youth in running these banks.”
INDIMICRO shows us that there is no limit to who is able to invest towards people who are in need . The small micro financing team showed that everybody can be a banker and that great businesses can be financed by anyone, even those with an intellectual disability, especially when they are so wonderfully supported in their choices by friends and family.
INDIMICRO has made an impact on thousands of individuals across the globe and will continue to do so. The team has been able to accomplish so much in such a short time and certainly is a shining example of overcoming adversity to help others to do the same.