What is KIVA?
Similar to NEST's mission, KIVA strives to connect people through lending with the goal of alleviating poverty. Simply put, KIVA lets you loan to the working poor. Founded in 2004 by Matt Flannery and his wife Jessica, KIVA has established itself as "the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website." Its efforts allow empowering individuals to lend directly to original entrepreneurs in the developing world. Examples of entrepreneurs may include: a baker in Afghanistan, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, or a tailor in Iraq.. among many others.
How does KIVA work?
By partnering with existing expert microfinance institutions, KIVA gains access to unique, qualified entrepreneurs from impoverished communities all over the world. The partners upload individual profiles on site, allowing lenders to connect to a specific entrepreneur of their own choice. Because of the nature of the internet, KIVA's lending platform affords lenders the opportunity to measure the impact that their lends are having on the entrepreneur's business throughout each step of the cycle. Over time, the entrepreneur repays the loan - updates are maintained on the KIVA site and also emailed to lenders opting to receive these notifications. Once the loan has been completely repaid, lenders may extend loans to other entrepreneurs, donate to KIVA, or withdraw funds.
Well connected within the social media realm, some of KIVA's partners include:
- Google.org: KIVA is a Google Grants recipient. Google created this program to give free advertising to selected non profits. The partnership has enabled KIVA to attract new members instantaneously upon relevant search queries, and has proven invaluable to KIVA's continuing growth and success.
- YouTube: A popular video sharing website, YouTube has donated 120 million free banner placements to KIVA. These banners help to increase exposure and awareness of KIVA, while also generating new lenders and donors.
- Intuit Inc.: A leading provider of business and financial management solutions for many non profit organizations, Intuit donates accounting & reporting software to KIVA to support its mission.
Sound like something that may be up your alley? Help KIVA do more.