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Kiva Microfinance Organization

Updated on October 15, 2014

I choose to help the world making Micro Loans through Kiva

Hopefully I'll convince you that you should microfinance some businesses too. These businesses have a huge positive impact upon their communities but wouldn't be able to expand without some small business financing or microcredit. This is where Kiva comes in, matching you with entrepreneurs. But a warning: IT'S VERY ADDICTIVE. Once you get started, you won't be able to stop using Kiva microfinance. I've made over 100 loans over the past couple of years.

Oh yeah, and all the money I make from this lens I'll be donating to Kiva for their operating expenses.

Check out Kiva here

My Experience with Kiva microfinance

It all started off for me about 4 years ago, when a friend lent me a book about Microfinance. Most of the details in that book are long-forgotten but I took one most valuable thing from it: Kiva. I was immediately intrigued when I checked out the website...I could lend as little as $25 to an entrepreneur in a poor country, it would be pooled together with other lenders and that person could take the money and expand their business. They'd pay us back in monthly installments. And when I got that money back, I could immediately lend it out again. It was amazing, and seemed like such a tangible way that I could use my resources to make a difference in the world.

I was hooked and now it's 4 years, 40 loans and $1225 later and I'm still going strong. I choose to lend mostly to women, because it's often them who need a leg up in the world. I also lend mostly to Africans because it seems like the continent with the most need and where aid clearly hasn't worked. Perhaps entrepreneurship can.

What is Kiva and how it works

Your Loan Stats

How many Kiva loans have you made so far?

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How Kiva Works

This is straight from the Kiva Website:

I. Kiva Partners with a Microfinance Institution

Kiva partners with existing microfinance institutions around the world (we call them Field Partners). These organizations that have expertise in microfinance and a mission to alleviate poverty facilitate Kiva loans on the ground. Our Field Partners know their local area and clients and do all the leg work required to get Kiva loans to the entrepreneurs.

.II. Field Partners Disburse Loans and Upload Stories

Field Partners disburse loans as soon as they are needed. The Field Partner collects entrepreneur stories, pictures and loan details and uploads them to Kiva. Volunteer editors and translators review the loan requests and publish them to Kiva.org.

.III. Lenders Browse Profiles and Lend

Lenders browse loan requests and select which ones they'd like to fund. Lenders can fund as little as $25 and as much as the entire amount of the loan. Kiva aggregates funds from Kiva lenders and provides them to the Field Partner.

.IV. Kiva Disburses Lenders' Funds to the Field Partner

The Field Partner uses the funds to replenish the loan they've already made to the entrepreneur. Kiva provides these funds on a schedule that accommodates the Field Partners' banking procedures.

.V. Entrepreneurs Repay Their Loana

The Field Partner collects repayments from Kiva entrepreneurs as well as any interest due and lets Kiva know if a repayment was not made as scheduled. Interest rates are set by the Field Partner, and that interest is used to cover the Field Partner's operating costs. Kiva doesn't charge interest to its Field Partners and does not provide interest to lenders.

VI. Kiva Provides Repayments to Lenders

If there is already money in the Field Partner's account, or once their payment is received, Kiva uses these funds to credit the appropriate lenders with their loan repayments. Lenders can re-lend their funds to another entrepreneur, donate their funds to Kiva (to cover operational expenses), or withdraw their funds via PayPal.

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Kiva Entrepreneurs on CNN

The Pedro Story

Kiva on PBS - Exploring the impact of microfinance in Uganda

Who do you loan to?

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kiva, kiva microfinance, loans that change lives
kiva, kiva microfinance, loans that change lives

The perfect present

Wondering what to get that impossible to buy for person for Christmas or their birthday? Kiva! You can give gift certificates by email. Get other people hooked too!

Can small business financing help people escape from poverty?

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    • smithlights profile image

      smithlights 5 years ago

      Great lens. I haven't done it, but I know lots of people who have, and I fully believe in the power of microloans. I love you line: "In Africa, where aid hasn't helped. Maybe entrepreneurship can." I have friends in Africa who swear it is the best way for Westerners to help the developing world. That, and child sponsorship.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I didn't know about this - it sounds wonderful and I intend to do my homework-thanks!

    • JeremiahStanghini profile image

      JeremiahStanghini 6 years ago

      Yay for KIVA!

    • pixelposy profile image

      pixelposy 6 years ago

      You and another lensmaster recently introduced me to this organization. I can see how it could be addictive. It's so cool that your donation isn't just given and never heard from again. The fact that it's a loan and the money comes back to you so you can reloan it and have it do some good all over again is pretty darn cool.

    • dwnovacek profile image

      dwnovacek 6 years ago

      I've been meaning to learn more about Kiva, and was so pleased to find your lens. Thanks for your work on their behalf. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • Timewarp profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Montreal

      I found Kiva through Squidoo and it's my new favorite charity!