Kiva, an international, nonprofit microlending programme, has reached an important milestone: The organisation has provided over $1 billion in microloans to female entrepreneurs.
Through the Kiva.org online platform, anyone can provide a zero-interest microloan to help an entrepreneur in need. The website focuses on assisting people in underserved countries, and women make up 81 percent of the platform. The US leg of the organisation crowdfunds loans for those who are either financially excluded from traditional lending institutions or creating social impact in their communities.
“This is a truly amazing milestone, and I want to recognize all of Kiva’s remarkable lenders, employees, volunteers, field partners, donors, and corporate partners that have helped Kiva fund more than $1 billion in loans to women and $1.4 billion in loans to entrepreneurs worldwide,” the microlender’s CEO Neville Crawley said in a statement.
“But our work is not done. Kiva will continue to support women and their communities through the Kiva.org platform, as well as seek and develop new ways to transform the financial and social systems to work better for them.”
Founded in 2005, the nonprofit organisation has a mission to extend financial access to underserved communities worldwide.
The organisation consists of three main business components: Kiva.org, Kiva Protocol and Kiva Capital Management. The website is a crowdfunding platform that allows anyone to lend as little as $25 to help someone start or fund a business. When the loan is repaid, the borrower can either fund another microloan or withdraw the money.
Kiva Protocol aims to establish credit history and a financial identity for unbanked populations using distributed ledger technology; its inaugural project is currently being implemented in Sierra Leone.
Kiva Capital Management, a forthcoming subsidiary of the organisation, will operate as an impact-first asset manager. By connecting Kiva’s network of field partners with institutional capital, this component will scale the company’s ability to lend to the underserved.
“The strength of these women who’ve put Kiva loans to work to benefit themselves and their communities is the reason that we exist today,” said Goldie Chow, Director of Impact at the organisation. “We will continue to empower female entrepreneurship, and do all that we can to generate greater financial inclusion for the next generation of female entrepreneurs worldwide.”
Through the #FuelHerFuture campaign in collaboration with The PepsiCo Foundation, the microlending company is offering a $25 credit to anyone who makes a loan on the platform from the 7th to 13th October, while funds last.
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