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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, International, International Economic Development, Microfinance, Promotion of International Understanding

Mission: Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need. Kiva partners with existing expert microfinance institutions. In doing so, we gain access to outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide. Our partners are experts in choosing qualified entrepreneurs. That said, they are usually short on funds. Through Kiva, our partners upload their entrepreneur profiles directly to the site so you can lend to them. When you do, not only do you get a unique experience connecting to a specific entrepreneur on the other side of the planet, but our microfinance partners can do more of what they do, more efficiently. Kiva provides a data-rich, transparent lending platform. We are constantly working to make the system more transparent to show how money flows throughout the entire cycle, and what effect it has on the people and institutions lending it, borrowing it, and managing it along the way. To do this, we are using the power of the internet to facilitate one-to-one connections that were previously prohibitively expensive. Child sponsorship has always been a high overhead business. Kiva creates a similar interpersonal connection at much lower costs due to the instant, inexpensive nature of internet delivery. The individuals featured on our website are real people who need a loan and are waiting for socially-minded individuals like you to lend them money.

Results: Time since launch (January 2006): 30 months Loans: $37 million, growing $1 million every 10 days Lenders: 270 thousand people from +70 countries Borrowers: 40 thousand entrepreneurs from +40 countries MFI Partners: 100 MFIs, growing at 3 a month Traffic: +100 thousand visitors / week Activity: Loan made every 37 seconds Risk: 97% active loans on time / 1.72% default rate (all partners) Org Size:  30 employees / +400 volunteers Leverage: Platform raises $8 for every $1 in expenses. Goal: $1 Billion from 10 million lenders in 5 years. Total value of all loans made through Kiva:  $37,281,060 Number of Kiva Lenders: 320,425 Number of loans that have been funded through Kiva: 52,847 Percentage of Kiva loans that have been made to women entrepreneurs: 77.20% Number of Kiva Field Partners (microfinance institutions Kiva partners with): 89 (growing 3 a month) Number of countries Kiva Field Partners are located in: 42 Current repayment rate (all partners): 98.28% Average size of loan for funding: $480.44 Average total amount loaned per Kiva Lender (includes reloaned funds): $116.74 Average number of loans per Kiva Lender: 3.03

Target demographics: Impoverished entrepreneurs in the developing world

Direct beneficiaries per year: >40k entrepreneurs

Geographic areas served: Global

Programs: Kiva.org is the first person-to-person micro-lending Web site, creating a way for individuals to connect with and make personal loans to small businesses in developing countries. Kiva.org partners with microfinance institutions across the globe, giving them access to Kiva.org's website to post their funding needs for loans to micro-entrepreneurs. Individuals across the globe fund these loans by sending payment via PayPal. Repaid loans are returned to individual lenders. Kiva.org's ultimate beneficiaries are micro-entrepreneurs who need a loan to start or expand a small business. Kiva.org's secondary beneficiaries are microfinance institutions for whom Kiva.org both provides an additional source of debt capital and provides an average 9% savings on their cost of capital. Finally, Kiva.org provides a way for individuals to connect with micro-entrepreneurs around the world and directly participate in microfinance.

Community Story



Rating: 2

I was initially very enthusiastic about Kiva and about supporting them as a lender. The web site in particular is very well organised; it gives you a real sense of being able, with others, to directly help those in many developing and third-world countries. Similarly, the wide range of people seeking loans from Kiva means you can support people from across the World, in different continents, who are seeking to borrow for a host of different purposes. But I became increasing concerned about the high interest rates Kiva are charging - up to 30% - and the amount leaching out into administrative charges. The final straw came when I realised they also post applications for loans from people living in the USA. Now, I am sure there are very many poor people in the US, and that small business owners there may well have difficult in financing their enterprises. But I don't think this is where Kiva should be devoting its energy or resources.

So I have scaled back my involvement with Kiva and now mainly offer finance instead via Zidisha. They have a much smaller client base (focussed in Kenya) and the web site is much less sophisticated. But their admin charges are low and uniquely, I think, they allow the borrower to set the interest rate at what they can afford (sometimes even at 0%). I will still offer some loans through Kiva, but through gritted teeth and only where they appear to be the only micro-finance organisation operating in a country I am interested in.