At the end of 2020 with the recommendation of one couple, Realize Impact made a $50,000 loan to Ethical Apparel Africa, an apparel sourcing company that provides expert technical guidance, independent quality control, sourcing, logistics, and compliance assurance in West Africa.
We didn’t blog about this loan at the time as $50,000 was all the company needed to deal with a pandemic-related setback. The loan was planned to be repaid within six months and here we are, a few days before that six month anniversary and $51,375 arrived yesterday.
Filling in gaps like these is more important than you might think. Banks don’t lend to small companies like this. They barely do that in America and don’t in the emerging market countries.
$50,000 may seem like a lot to risk for $1,375 of interest. It is, but that is a benefit of using philanthropic capital to make such investments, as if it doesn’t get repaid, that money was destined to be donated to a charity. Either way it ends up doing good in the world.
But the loan did get repaid, as most loans do to succeeding companies like this, and 99% of that money will go back to the donor advised fund where it started from, hopefully to be reused in another impact investment many times before finally donated away.