Lending with Kiva, A Not-So-Local Love Story
Did you know that you can support individual small business owners across the globe with just the click of a button? Kiva is helping folks make small loans with a HUGE impact.
Even though we've been exponentially growing in our eight years as a company, in many ways, Batch is still the little guy. And we love helping the little-er guy. We want to make sure that we're always maintaining our entrepreneurial spirit with both our customers and our vendors. So when one of our vendors gifted us a way to support new entrepreneurs, we jumped on it, and it left us more inspired than ever.
NetSuite, one of our vendors and our inventory management system gave us $25 to loan through a partnership with Kiva.org.
Have you heard of Kiva? The website includes a list of hundreds of profiles of individual entrepreneurs from around the globe looking to crowdfund a loan. There are profiles of people everywhere from Palestine to Poland, from Mozambique to Mexico, from Zimbabwe to... somewhere else that starts with a "Z". Each profile has a financial goal they're trying to hit (like Kickstarter) but unlike Kickstarter, it's a loan, not a gift. You give, you get back. And then you can loan that money again to a new enterprise. No net loss, but plenty of opportunity gained from someone who needs it.
With all of these potential opportunities, it was a real struggle just narrowing down who to pick. Here's where we landed.
Meet Daryana from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is the small business owner of Ediciones Enserio, a publishing house for local Puerto Rican authors.
To Daryana, books are lifeboats. Her mission is to foster a culture of writing and reading in Puerto Rico, and by doing so, enrich and support her community. On top of that, Ediciones Enserio has developed other initiatives to further this goal including:
- Donations to a foundation that helps children with cancer receive treatment
- A women's reading circle
- Public conversations with local authors,
- Activities to make newly published authors known around the island
- Individual and personalized writing classes
"At a time of crisis in my life, years ago, I found that books are lifeboats. We not only use words to share our inner worlds, history, great ideas, and insights, but we also use them to heal and connect with other people. Reading helps us understand our history and culture, it enriches us." - Daryana
Women-owned, supporting the arts, and actively engaging with and uplifting her community? Daryana's cause was a slam dunk for us. She's a living reminder of some of the values that inspired us to get into the local gift game. Helping our neighbors. Creating success stories. Celebrating hidden talents in our community. Like us, her passion is helping others achieve their dreams.
We were happy to give our small loan to her organization, and were grateful to Kiva.org, and our friends at Netsuite, for the opportunity to hear her story.
Like Kiva, Batch is inspired to provide for our customers and clients the same warm/fuzzy feeling from helping create opportunities for others.
Even though the products you're buying when you shop at Batch aren't loans, we see them as investments. You're investing in the success story of small businesses across the country. When you buy a jar of Southern City Flavors Strawberry Jam from us instead of Smuckers (we're not even going to hyperlink them), you're empowering Mike and his family to find their success story, and helping us continue to do the same for hundreds of different vendors.
Plus, we've partnered with organizations like Make-a-Wish Middle Tennessee, Corner to Corner, and The Nashville Humane Association, amongst others. Certain gifts you buy directly benefit these charities (read about Make a Wish here), and create a ripple-effect of good in both the local and national community. When you shop small, it really does make a BIG impact.
Thanks again to Netsuite and Kiva for this creative and meaningful way to show gratitude to their customers. For even more ideas on corporate gratitude that mean something, check out our Business Gifts page.
Main Photo Credit: Kiva