In October of 2010, Kiva and Visa announced a partnership to raise awareness in the U.S. of the availability of microlending as a source of capital and help bring the benefits of microfinance to areas where small businesses are facing the toughest challenges.. Although Kiva expanded to the U.S. in 2009, there are significant challenges to scaling microfinance across the country. Visa approached Kiva to see if it was possible for Kiva to help accelerate the expansion of microfinance in the U.S. In response, Kiva worked with Visa to create “Kiva City”, a new program that extends small business access to microloans in U.S. cities with the greatest need. Kiva City aims to spur job growth and economic recovery by connecting Kiva’s global network of 592,000 individual lenders with the owners of small businesses throughout the country.
Visa provided a $1 million contribution to Kiva to support efforts to scale microfinance in the U.S. Partnership initiatives include:
- Through a collaborative effort, driving awareness and understanding of microfinance for small businesses.
- Jointly commissioning a study with the Economist Intelligence Unit to identify trouble spots for small businesses across major U.S. cities.
- Building the features and capacity of the Kiva’s microlending platform to increase capacity to support U.S. small businesses.
- Scaling Kiva across the U.S. with the launch of the “Kiva City” initiative.