NOTE: EACH LOAN RANGES FROM $25-$500 USD
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."
Some people already know how to fish, they just can’t afford a net.
Here at Mission Belt, we don’t just want our customers to look good - we want them to feel good too. That’s why a DOLLAR from every belt sold goes to fight global hunger and poverty. Having lived and worked across the globe, we’ve seen firsthand the struggles of those who aren’t as fortunate in their circumstances through no fault of their own. There are so many industrious, motivated people striving for a better life for themselves and their families. Sometimes, the only thing holding them back is a little capital to get started to break the poverty cycle. A few hundred dollars to buy a cow, a few chickens, or supplies to sell, can mean the difference between unemployment and a productive, independent business.
We decided to start a company that is so focused on fighting world hunger and poverty, that you’ll know about our “Mission” from the second you hear our name. We’ll be the first to admit that our no-holes belts are pretty awesome, and you’d probably want to have one regardless of our Mission. But even more important than producing the world’s sleekest, most stylin, and most comfortable belts, is making sure we can do it in a socially responsible way. Every time you put on your belt, and hear the ‘click click’ of the perfect fit, you can remember that you too are a part of the Mission.
So that we can focus on making our world-class belts, we searched around for a well known and respected organization to work with, and found just that in Kiva (www.Kiva.org). Kiva is a non-profit, peer-to-peer ‘micro-lending’ organization that helps provide opportunities to support economic development and entrepreneurship, mostly in developing countries, as part of its efforts to alleviate poverty and create more economic opportunity. Before you think we’re loan sharks, Kiva doesn’t collect nor pay us any interest on our funds. Rather, we help to increase the supply of credit for borrowers who might not have access to traditional banking services in their home countries.
As stewards of our time, talents, and resources, we take our Mission seriously. We aren’t Sally Struthers preying on people’s emotions and we aren’t charity-tourists taking a trip around the globe to hand out school supplies to starving kids. We’d rather avoid the airfare and the photo-ops, and get the most bang for our belts by focusing our Mission on three key aspects: Sustainability, Transparency and Impact:
For each Mission Belt sold we contribute a dollar into a Kiva fund that then gets lent out to borrowers in developing countries who are seeking money to support their small business operations. We’re not talking about expensive factory equipment or a new tractor, but rather what we might consider a relatively cheap income producing asset, like a cow that produces milk, or a few hundred dollars worth of supplies that can be resold for a profit. In this way, our Mission isn’t just satisfying people’s immediate needs, but giving them the means for an improved standard of living that will last the rest of their life.
It’s a hand up, not a hand out.
Sometimes when you donate money to a charitable organization, after your contribution is made, you have no way of knowing where the money goes, or what kind of impact it has. We don’t want to be paying administrative salaries, travel costs or telephone bills. We want to ensure our funds are going to the people who need it. With Kiva, we and our customers can see the faces and stories behind our efforts. Our lender profile (www.kiva.org/lender/TheMissionBeltCo) shows each recipient of our funds, what they use it for, and when they pay back their loan. You can see third party statistics on borrower countries, industries, gender, and pictures (see below). We expect accountability and transparency, and likewise want to deliver that to you.
For every dollar we contribute, 100% goes directly to the end borrowers. Kiva does not take a cut for its operational overhead, nor does it charge interest to its field partners, who administer the loans. Kiva is primarily funded through donations, grants, corporate sponsors, and foundations. Their financial records are audited and publicly available on their website. And not only are those borrowers forever reaping the benefits, but when they repay their Kiva micro-loans, those funds can then be lent out again, and again, and again. Kiva borrowers have over a 99% repayment rate, which means that a single dollar can get lent out over 100 times, exponentially increasing the positive effect of your Mission Belt purchase. Imagine that - you get an awesome belt, and at the same time supply over $100 in much needed credit to budding entrepreneurs around the globe. Could it get any cooler?
Kiva does the qualifying and we supply the money. Like we said before, these are hard working, industrious people that have great ideas and drive. With our/your capital they are able to achieve their dream. Most are successful. Some try and fail. As in all business, there is risk involved, but we hope that the success of one will turn into the success of many. Several of the entrepreneurs say they will use their increase to feed their families better or to educate their children, laying the foundation for following generations to prosper. At the end of the day, they decide their future, but we are able to play our part in helping our brothers and sisters around the globe, and that is what we love about The Mission.
*You can see more details on our Kiva profile HERE.
NOTE: 200,000 UNIQUE LOANS AND COUNTING. LOANS RANGE FROM $25-$500 USD.THANKS FOR BEING PART OF THIS MISSION!