HP announced this week that thousands of entrepreneurs around the world have already received microloans from its employees since the launch of Matter to a Million, the Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation’s partnership with Kiva, in February. In announcing the partnership, HP said it is called “Matter to a Million” because the goal is to help one million entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
As part of the five-year, global partnership, HP has given all of its employees worldwide a $25 credit to lend to borrowers on Kiva. The company said in a blog post this week that to date, more than 86,000 employees had given more than $2.5 million in loans to help farmers, teachers, doctors, and business owners worldwide grow their businesses and help their communities.
So far, HP employees are sharing the most loans in the agriculture, food and retail sectors. The top countries receiving the loans are Kenya, the Philippines, El Salvador and India, although thousands of loans are also going to help communities in Europe and North America.
HP says Matter to a Million has struck a chord with its employees around the world. The HP team page on Kiva has received a deluge of positive comments:
“Just made my loan in this wonderful program,” said Ruth Nelson, an HP employee based in Brisbane, Australia. “Not only did I make a loan but I got to be the last person to fund the project I chose. I am so excited that, through the generosity of this program, we are able to make a difference. Can't wait to tell everyone I work with.”
Some employees have been inspired to lend their own money, in addition to the $25 kickstart from the HP Foundation.
“This spirit of generosity and teamwork is exactly what we hope to encourage through all our HP Living Progress programs,” said Marlon Evans, Global Partnerships Manager at HP.
In October, Kiva announced another partnership with Fair Trade USA to help small-scale coffee farmers access financing, improve crop quality and invest in the future of their families and communities. The partnership stemmed from a successful previous collaboration between Fair Trade USA, Kiva and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (now Keurig Green Mountain) to pilot Kiva’s first agricultural lending program with a Fair Trade coffee cooperative in Mexico. Kiva said its lenders around the world fully funded nearly all of the loans, which benefited hundreds of small farmers working to prepare their fields for harvest.
In other recent HP news, the company announced last month that global packaging company YFY Jupiter will use straw waste from Chinese farms to manufacture HP’s corrugated cardboard and molded pulp packaging. According to Linda Chau, Director of Packaging & Media for HP Central Direct Procurement & Services, the process to create this packaging uses up to 40 percent less energy and 90 percent less water; emits 25 percent less CO2 than traditional methods; and since the packaging is lighter than wood-based molded pulp, it will cost less to ship.