PITTSBURGH, Pa., Aug. 09 /CSRwire/ – Responsible fabric manufacturer Thread worked with Kiva’s direct-to-social enterprise loan program in April to raise $10,000. The loans are based on the principle that lending alongside thousands of others is one of the most powerful and sustainable ways to create economic and social good. Kiva and Thread share the mutual goal of ending poverty, which made the partnership a natural fit, but given the unique operating structure of Thread, the companies worked together through Kiva’s pilot direct-to-social enterprise loan program in order to raise funds to support First Mile entrepreneurs. Funds were raised by lenders on the Kiva site and paid directly to Thread who will pay back the loan by May 2018.
“When interviewing our suppliers we would learn that when faced with unexpected equipment failures, such as a broken scale, centers would often need to shut down for up to two weeks. By offering access to capital through small business loans, we can ensure these suppliers are positioned to remain open, increase their revenue, and provide stable jobs and income opportunities in their communities,” said Kelsey Halling, director of impact and sales.
Thread started its own zero interest micro-loan program for First Mile Entrepreneurs in their Haitian supply chain last May. Loan applications are received each month by Thread’s Haitian Field Manager and evaluated by the Impact team. Initially, Thread made up to $150 available per month and the Kiva funding. Of the $10,000 Kiva lenders contributed, $5,000 will be allocated to increase Thread’s monthly loan program from $150 a month to approximately $800 per month. The remaining $5,000 will be distributed to innovative First Mile Entrepreneurs for projects that will solve targeted issues that will have an impact spanning their community. The $5,000 will be issued to Vilner Geffrard and Nadine Phillipe. Vilner’s center will begin to transport plastic for the underserved area of Leogane while Nadine will open two additional collection centers in Les Cayes.
“Thread is like a doctor. They know the causes of the disease, and they want to start the cure where it should be started,” said Nadine Phillipe.
Thread plans to share the success of the entrepreneurs and loan recipients on a new blog series “Stories from the First Mile” so that Thread’s community and lenders can connect with the suppliers in the First Mile of the Ground to Good ™ supply chain. Thread will host a quarterly supplier meeting in Haiti on August 17th to discuss best practices for growing their businesses.
Thread is on a mission to end poverty by creating dignified jobs and responsible, high-quality fabrics. A Certified B Corporation, Thread transforms plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti and Honduras into the most responsible fabrics on the planet. Every product made with Thread supports thousands of dignified jobs in the developing world and the United States. Brands use Thread’s purpose-filled fabrics in their products, such as apparel, shoes and bags, to improve their social and environmental impact. Learn more at www.threadinternational.com and follow the Ground to Good™ story @threadintl.
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