Loans that Change Lives

Rating: 4.14 stars   37 reviews


3180 18th Street Suite 201 San Francisco CA 94110 USA


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.


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:


Programs: 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. partners with microfinance institutions across the globe, giving them access to'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.'s ultimate beneficiaries are micro-entrepreneurs who need a loan to start or expand a small business.'s secondary beneficiaries are microfinance institutions for whom both provides an additional source of debt capital and provides an average 9% savings on their cost of capital. Finally, provides a way for individuals to connect with micro-entrepreneurs around the world and directly participate in microfinance.

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Reviews for Loans that Change Lives

Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Am new here and feel and wish to learn of what Kiva does

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I needed help with my business as a new migrant to the US but Kiva wouldn't help me yet four doors down is a coffee shop that has a Kiva loan. the owner of the coffee shop on taraval avenue SAN FRANCISCO has two coffee shops plus a new restaurant plus both he and his wife drive new BMW each . They have a beautiful home.

Where do I sleep on the floor of my business! KIVA ONLY SUPPORTS LIARS!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have been a Kiva lender for over three and a half years and have personally met several of the principals involved with that organization and have visited their HQ in San Francisco. This 5+ year old organization whose 600,000+ lenders have loaned out more than $ 231,000,000. to over poor entrepreneurs in 59 countrys (through 135 field partners) has 450 volunteers throughout the world.

The Kiva format used uniquely allows the lender and the borrower to communicate through the Kiva website (with text, pictures and video) and is completely transparent in all phases of the operation. I have even met one of the borrowers (Kiva includes the US as one of its lending countrys).

The cumulative payback rate to date is an amazing 98.8%.

Also Kiva takes no 'cut' of the transaction and the loan is accomplished with no transaction fee. (The transaction is provided thru Paypal at no charge!) Kiva's operation is financed primarily through donations and some grants.

It is one of the best organizations that I have ever been involved with in my 71+ years.

Visit the site and you'll be happy that you did.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have attended several of the organization's events, spoken with many of the principals and volunteers and even one borrower. All were very impressive.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I know that this box has to be filled out but I honestly can't think of any needed improvements. I would be very happy if more people knew about Kva.

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