Kiva loans previously were limited to US$10,000, and Clear Conscience Pet was one of the first ten companies worldwide to be tapped for the US$25,000 “superloan” pilot program. Clear Conscience Pet set its crowdfunding goal of US$25,000 in March 2018.
Founders Anthony Bennie and Amanda Malone Bennie were endorsed for the loan by Kiva trustee Pennye Jones-Napier, co-owner of pioneering independent pet care retailer The Big Bad Woof in Washington, DC. Big Bad Woof was named the 2017 Retailer of the Year for Environmental Stewardship by Pet Product News.
Raising money through online crowdlending
The crowd loan faced a steep challenge as one of only ten such loans ever offered on the crowdlending platform. The pilot program was offered by Kiva.org invitation only, and the program was limited to companies with strong fundamental metrics of social media support, product integrity, and sustainable and responsible business ethics.
“We are so very grateful to the 183 lenders and 39 lending teams that supported our loan and to our dear friend Pennye of The Big Bad Woof,” said Clear Conscience co-founder Amanda Bennie in a press release. “We had friends, family, and colleagues backing the loan, but the biggest surprise was that so many of our customers actually contributed quite generously. That is so humbling and gratifying because I really don’t think that many brands have customers who believe in their products and philosophy so much that they would lend money interest-free to their companies.”
Clear Conscience Pet products have won 21 awards since 2012, including the SuperGravy line of instant pet food topper gravy and broth mixes as well as the Airy Bark treats and Trachey Chewz beef and lamb dental chews.