Wild Heaven Farm, a Chesterfield goat farm which produces goat milk soaps and skin care products, has faced difficulty after closing early last year, but has been approved by Kiva Zip, a pilot program that enables individuals to make direct loans to
The innovative crowd-funded micro-loan program Kiva Zip has approved the application of Wild Heaven Farm, a Chesterfield, Virginia goat farm which produces goat milk soaps and skin care products, facing a challenging start to its year and a questionable future.
Kiva Zip is a pilot program, launched by Kiva, that enables individuals to make direct loans to entrepreneurs in Kenya and the United States. The individual loans, which can be as little as $5 are pooled together. Unlike other crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter and Indie Gogo, funds sent through Kiva Zip are loans to be repaid. As the loan is repaid, lenders can withdraw their money or re-lend it to another entrepreneur.
For small business owners, loans are available at 0% interest and borrowers have the opportunity to make connections with potentially hundreds of lenders and fans. This can pay off big -- a lot of lenders become customers, vocal supporters, and trusted advisers of the businesses they support on Kiva Zip.
Loans up to $50 will be matched by Capital One, a Fortune 500 company based in McLean, Virginia, provided the lender accesses zip.kiva.org/loans/3337/i/tttp directly.
Wild Heaven Farm has faced trouble after closing early last year. Spring began with the majority of the goats, the cornerstone of this agribusiness, milking poorly, one giving no milk at all. The failure of an integral piece of soap-making equipment further crippled the company's ability to make products to generate income. Not only do these circumstances make it difficult for Wild Heaven Farm to resume operations in 2014, the company's entire future is in jeopardy. Boot-strapping efforts such as a pre-season pre-order program have proved inadequate to help Wild Heaven Farm back to its fiscal feet.
Loans have been made to Wild Heaven Farm through Kiva Zip by people throughout the country and across the world, including France and Taiwan. Wild Heaven Farm will use the funds raised to purchase more doe goats who are milking heavily, purchase supplies to make soap, and pay the booth fees for the large events in the fall and winter that represent the bulk of their annual direct retail sales.
In accordance with Kiva Zip's policy, Wild Heaven Farm must raise the target of $5,000 to receive the funds. A short-fall in the fund-raising would result in the loan being canceled.
Currently, only one other business in Virginia is receiving financial assistance through the Kiva Zip network. Previously funded local businesses include Paris Creperie, Onetribe, and For Love of Food Catering.