Lending

How do I start lending?

  • Lending is easy. By visiting our Lend page, you can make a loan right away through our secure website. Grow Ahead will provide regular updates on the progress of your loan.

What happens to my money after it gets repaid?

  • You’ll have a choice of what you do with your money. You can reinvest in the next lending cycle, donate to Grow Ahead’s capacity building programs, or withdraw your funds. If you decide not to finance another project, just note that you can only withdraw your money once a cycle has been completed. Withdrawals cannot be processed in the middle of the cycle. You can find information about the status of your loan on your profile page.

What is the minimum I can lend?

  • The minimum amount you can lend is $25 (USD).

Why do I have to pay a transaction fee?

  • Stripe charges a transaction fee that Grow Ahead, at this moment, cannot cover. The fee is equal to 2.9% of your loan plus $0.30 (for example, a $25 loan will come to $26.08). This fee will be charged in addition to your loan, so that the full loan amount will go to support the farmers.

What is the currency of my loans?

  • All loan transactions are made in USD to avoid currency risks.

Will my loan earn interest?

  • Unfortunately, laws governing this type of financial activity in the US do not allow you to earn interest on your loan. The funds returned to you at the end of the term will equal funds loaned minus possible transaction fees.

The Process

What happens if the producers pay late?

  • We understand that producer organizations cannot control many factors at the local level. We stand on the side of the producer organizations and we will patiently await repayment. While it is possible for the unforeseen to occur, defaults by established producer organizations are rare.

How long is the lending cycle?

  • The cycle lasts between 6 to 18 months, and depends on the weather, local capacity, harvest, available infrastructure, etc. When we finance a project, we will inform all lenders of that project what the expected cycle time will be.

Does Grow Ahead charge any fees to the Producer Organizations?

  • Yes. To help cover operating expenses, Grow Ahead will charge producer organizations a fee for money loaned. This fee is negotiated with each producer organization and lenders will be able to see the fees charged for the project they helped to finance; we aim to charge approximately 6-8% on an annual basis. These fees are a necessary part of a sustainable financial model: not only do they defray Grow Ahead's operating expenses, they prevent our loans from being unfairly competitive and disrupting local financial markets.

What is the fee paid by producers used for?

  • Fees paid by producers are used to cover Grow Ahead’s operational costs, to execute some marketing activities, and to expand Grow Ahead in order to reach more and more lenders and farmers around the world.

Participation

I live outside the US or Canada, can I still participate?

  • Absolutely! You can support producer organizations’ quest for sustainability from wherever you are on the planet.

How can my organization, institution, or office participate?

  • Organizations of all sizes can participate. We invite you to raise money from your colleagues and friends and jointly open an account at Grow Ahead. Contact us for more information.

How can I get my local coffee shop, school or place of worship involved in Grow Ahead?

  • We love partnering with local organizations to spread the word about Grow Ahead. If you’d like to partner Grow Ahead, please contact us we’ll follow up!

Additional Resources

Where can I go to learn more about Regenerative Agriculture, Small Farmer Resiliency and Fair Trade?