Kiva is a non-profit organization, based in San Francisco with one mission: connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. After several visits to Africa their founders, Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley, began developing their plan for a microfinance project that would grow into Kiva, which means “unity” in Swahili, the official language of several African countries.
In 2006, entrepreneurs and businessmen like Premal Shah (PM at PayPal), and Reid Hoffman (CEO and founder at Linkedin) joined Kiva’s staff. Quickly, Kiva reached $1 million in facilitated loans and acquired its twentieth field partner. To the present day, Kiva has continued to grow and expand its field partners while acquiring support from the media and the public.
Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help on creating opportunities around the world. They plan a world where everybody, even the most disadvantaged people in the globe, hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others. In their website you can find personal stories of each person who needs a loan. They believe that providing safe and affordable access to capital in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families.
Kiva operates in two models:
- Kiva.org relies on a network of field partners to administer the loans on the ground. These partners can be schools, social businesses, non-profit organizations or microfinance institutions.
- Kiva Zip facilitates loans at 0% directly to entrepreneurs via mobile payments and PayPal.
Nowadays, Kiva is present in 83 different countries, has more than 100 employees and has a world wide network of over 450 volunteers who work with their 300 field partners, edit and translate stories, and ensure the smooth of countless other Kiva programs.
Kiva does not take a cut. 100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes directly towards funding loans and doesn’t charge interest to their Field Partners, who administer the loans. They count on this strategy to develop Kiva worldwide and help people on their projects. To help running and developing Kiva you have the option to give a donation for them each time you lend. Naturally, they raise funds through corporate sponsors, grants and foundations.
In the Kiva’s platform you can create a team and lend, which allows to have information and analysis of loans. In December of 2013, HP decide to give to all of their staff an amount to lend in Kiva’s platform. Their objective was to give to HP employees to participate actively in driving HP Living Progress, the framework for how they do business, by supporting thousands of entrepreneurs around the world. Actually, HP team has 152,566 members, they did 342,741 loans to $9,796,225. This is a great example proving that companies in collaboration with other companies can change world.
Some figures about Kiva since it was founded in 2005:
- 1,337,931 Kiva lenders
- $751,215,675 in loans
- 98.61% repayment rate