With Skoll Foundation Support, Citi Provides Financing for Innovative Social Enterprise KickStart International
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Citi Microfinance and Citi Commercial Bank today announced US$2,000,000 in financing to support KickStart International, a non-profit social enterprise that designs, manufactures, and sells high quality, low-cost irrigation pumps for use by smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa. With support from the Skoll Foundation, the loan will be the first from Citi directed to the social enterprise sector and will specifically support smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, where farm yields are among the lowest in the world.
According to The World Bank, 65 percent of Africa’s labor force is employed by the agriculture industry, yet farming accounts for only 32 percent of gross domestic product on the continent. KickStart’s mission is to lift millions of people in Africa out of poverty — quickly, cost-effectively and sustainably. KickStart succeeds by designing, promoting and mass-marketing simple money-making tools that poor smallholder farmers buy and use to build profitable family enterprises.