Partnering with Kithoka area business and comunity leaders who screen applicants and administer the program, MichiKen has established an innovative microloan program in Kithoka. The target loan applicants are small businesses with potential to grow over time and add employees. MichiKen microloans on average are $US 500 (50,000 Kenyan Shillings) with expectation that the loans will be repaid in two years at a 0% interest rate. Prevailing interest rates in the Meru area for business loans are 10% per month or higher, making it cost prohibitive to take out business loans. Our experience during the first two years of the microloan program has been positive, with most loan recipients successfully expanding their businesses, and repaying their loans. .