Pioneering microfinance crowdfunding platform provider Kiva reached a milestone yesterday, announcing that $400 million in microloans have been made since opening for business in 2005.
Founded based on the idea that a “social lending" network could help alleviate poverty and expand economic opportunity, Kiva's microfinance loans have now reached more than 1 million people in more than 65 countries, according to Kiva's press release.
Starting off as small as $25, Kiva microloans fund a tremendous diversity of small businesses and other socially beneficial activities, including helping fund education, home improvements, and installations of cleaner, more energy-efficient equipment.
To date, Kiva has proven exceptionally adept at managing the credit risk of borrowers. Its loan repayment rate comes in at 98.9 perecent, the San Franciso-based company noted.
“Fundamentally, Kiva is about recognizing and supporting the potential that each person has whether they live across the street or across the world,” Kiva co-founder and president Premal Shah was quoted as saying.
“When we recognize and act on the potential in ourselves and others, as lenders or borrowers, powerful things can happen.”
Kiva Field Partners go through an initial “social performance” vetting process and annual review which are based on criteria Kiva management has developed “through careful research into best practices across the microfinance industry.”
Kiva Social Performance Badges were created to recognize a “demonstrated commitment” on the part of partners to one or more of the following social performance categories:
“This has been an amazing journey over the last seven years,” said Matt Flannery, Kiva Co-founder and CEO. “I want to thank the 1 million borrowers who have proven to the world that it was worth taking a chance on them. You have made Kiva possible.”
An experienced, independent journalist, editor and researcher, Andrew has crisscrossed the globe while reporting on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental entrepreneurship, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. He studied geology at CU, Boulder, has an MBA in finance from Pace University, and completed a certificate program in international governance for biodiversity at UN University in Japan.