Kiva: Make a loan, change a life

Kiva Logo
Kiva Logo

In this post today, I would like to highlight an online platform that makes a positive impact in the world. It is a platform that I am a proud member & supporter for some time now.

What is Kiva?

The Problem

There are over 1.7 billion unbanked individuals globally who are unable to access basic financial services. These are the kind of financial services which ourselves in the developed world think as pretty much basic & standard for all.

The Solution

Kiva is trying to address this problem by providing small loans to low-income individuals and businesses in developing countries. Founded in 2005 in San Francisco, Kiva aims to increase the financial accessibility and support underserved communities.

Through its online platform, Kiva connects lenders with borrowers who are seeking financial assistance to start or grow a business, pursue an education, cater for a health issue or meet other important needs. The organization’s focus on microfinance allows it to make a positive impact in the lives of borrowers, while also giving lenders the opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. Kiva’s ultimate goal is to promote financial inclusion and assist in the development of local economies.

Kiva by the Numbers

  • $1.84 billion have been loaned through Kiva’s platform helping over 4.5 million borrowers in 79 countries.
  • There are 2.1 million lenders and a new loan is funded every 2 minutes.
  • The loan repayment rate exceeds 96%.
  • 81% of borrowers are women

What is unique about Kiva

One of the major things that make Kiva unique is the fact that users don’t donate money but lend them. That creates a mutual relationship between lender and borrower based on dignity.

Moreover, through the loan repayment, every dollar paid back, can then fund another project. Hence, every single dollar will eventually make an impact on many different people.

Also, contrary to other charitable organisations, with Kiva, you get to choose which project to fund. You have full control and transparency over your funds. You are able to select which country and what kind of cause you would like to support. Furthermore, you get the opportunity to read the story of the borrower and how that money can change their lives.

Lastly, when you make a positive impact on someone’s life, that produces a ripple effect to the society they belong. Every single business that you help grow can subsequently create opportunities for further advancements in the local community. Every person which has his life improved, will make a positive change in his family and extended environment.

My 2022 Stats

The new year (2023) has just started and now it is a good time to set aside some time to reflect on the previous year’s good and bad moments.

Certainly, making a real impact on some people’s lives would count as a good moment, and in 2022 I was fortunate enough to have 5 of those moments. In the table below, are the causes that I supported per activity and country (I removed personal data).

ActivityCountryGenderCurrent Repayment Rate%
Personal Medical ExpensesTajikistanmale100.0%
Goods DistributionBurkina Fasofemale48.0%

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