Hawai‘i Food Producers Fund
A collaboration between The Kohala Center, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, County of Hawai‘i, and Kiva
The Hawai‘i Food Producers Fund provides 0% interest loans to Hawai‘i food producers through Kiva. The Kohala Center, with support from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the County of Hawai‘i, created the Fund to increase the amount of capital available to local food producers and stimulate local food production in Hawai‘i.
Kiva is a peer-to-peer online lending program that provides 0% interest business loans through crowd-funding. Crowd-funding is “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” Kiva has maintained a 100% funding success rate for entrepreneurs in Hawai‘i and is looking to expand its impact by supporting more entrepreneurs. Learn more about Kiva loans at us.kiva.org/hifarmers.
Hawai‘i Food Producers Fund
Hawai‘i food producers seeking loans through Kiva are eligible to receive 50% of their loan from the Hawai‘i Food Producers Fund. Hawai‘i food producers include Hawai‘i-based farmers and food processors utilizing at least one Hawai‘i-grown ingredient.
Loans are available up to $10,000. The interest rate is fixed at 0%. Loan proceeds may be used for any business purpose, including working capital. Borrowers have up to three years to repay the loan in weekly or monthly installments through PayPal. Grace periods up to six months are available for farmers. Kiva borrowers that have successfully repaid their loans may apply for subsequent loans in greater amounts. Kiva loans do not require collateral.
Do You Qualify?
Hawai‘i farmers and food processors utilizing at least one Hawai‘i-grown ingredient are eligible to receive 50% of their Kiva loan from the Hawai‘i Food Producers Fund.
To qualify for a Kiva loan, borrowers must be at least 18 years of age, must have or create a PayPal account, and must not currently be in bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings. In addition, borrowers must invite an initial pool of lenders from their own network to lend as little as $25 each. More information on the ways to qualify and apply for a Kiva loan can be found at us.kiva.org/hifarmers.
How to Apply
Hawai‘i food producers should visit kiva.org/borrow to apply for a loan. Applicants are required to provide a photo, a personal story, and a business description.
How to Become a Lender or Trustee
Individuals and organizations can support local food producers by becoming a Kiva lender or trustee who can publicly vouch for the borrower’s character and support their business throughout the loan term. Trustees have no financial or legal liability for Kiva loans.
Trustees can include individuals, small businesses, neighborhood associations, religious groups, student groups, professors, nonprofits, mentors, retail outlets, suppliers, small business development centers, economic development corporations, and startup incubators. For information on becoming a lender, visit kiva.org. For information on becoming a trustee, visit kivaushub.org/trustees.
How to Contribute to the Hawai‘i Food Producers Fund
In 2014 The Kohala Center established the Hawai‘i Island Food Producers Fund in collaboration with the Hawai‘i County Agriculture Advisory Commission, the County of Hawai‘i Office of Research and Development, and Kiva, with the support of a $25,000 grant from the County of Hawai‘i. Based on the success of the Hawai‘i Island program, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture provided The Kohala Center with a grant to create a $70,000 statewide Hawai‘i Food Producers Fund in October 2016. The Kohala Center hopes to continue to grow the Hawai‘i Food Producers Fund over time with contributions from local food system advocates.
For information on contributing to the Hawai‘i Food Producers Fund, please contact Hanna Bree at firstname.lastname@example.org.