A field partner grows from the pilot to active stage
Congratulations to Credit Mongol! This Kiva field partner in Mongolia recently achieved active status on the Kiva website. As you may well know, Kiva partners with microfinance institutions (MFIs), like Credit Mongol, in countries across the globe, reaching hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs. These partnerships are what make Kiva possible on a large scale.
Until an MFI meets the requirements of an active partner, an MFI is initially placed in a pilot stage. During this pilot phase, a partner is allowed to post loans to Kiva.org in a limited capacity. A Kiva Fellow or regional staff usually visit the partner to help set up the processes in accordance with Kiva’s policies and regulations, while also maximizing the benefits for the MFI. In Credit Mongol’s case, three Kiva Fellows have assisted with its Kiva pilot program – Beth, Kevin, and myself.
Knowledge exchanged in the pilot phase and the systems put in place are the foundation on which the Kiva program at each MFI is formed. The pilot phase helps partner’s effectively implement the Kiva process. It’s also important for the MFI to understand specific aspects related to the Kiva partnership – the internal website used for uploading profiles and reporting, the client protection requirements, and, of course, Kiva’s mission, objectives, and how all of the pieces fit together. The MFI becomes a sustainable link between the lenders and borrowers.
In order to determine if Credit Mongol was ready to move from the pilot to active stage, I performed an Accelerated Pilot Consultation. As a Kiva Fellow, here are some of the activities I completed:
- Completed a Borrower Verification to ensure that the entrepreneurs are real persons that are actually taking loans as described in their profiles
- Ensured that monthly repayment reporting is accurate and international money transfers are doable
- Updated Credit Mongol’s Implementation Manual containing partner-specific process maps and guidelines
- Reviewed the various processes needed to support the Kiva program – borrower profiles, loan updates, repayment reporting, etc.
- Verified that Credit Mongol was able to regularly meet the majority of its pilot stage fundraising limit
- Ensured that Credit Mongol’s loan updates (journals) were meeting quality and quantity requirements
- Ensured that all stakeholders – headquarters, branches, and borrowers – understood the implemented client protection waiver, which allows borrowers’ information to be public on Kiva.org
- Assisted Credit Mongol with forecasting its Kiva loan volume
In its 11 month pilot stage, Credit Mongol reached 190 entrepreneurs using US$270,000. With the increase in Kiva funding, Credit Mongol is now able to reach many more borrowers than it could in the pilot stage. Once moved to active status, Credit Mongol traveled to its rural branches to ensure employees understood Kiva’s procedures and were ready to effectively implement these loans in the countryside. The MFI now has additional funding to reach more rural, low-income microentrepreneurs – and is currently utilizing it with enthusiasm!
Lend to Credit Mongol entrepreneurs as the MFI expands its Kiva operations to the Mongolian countryside.
Amber Barger is currently serving as a Kiva Fellow in Mongolia. She has lived for the past two years in rural Mongolia as a community economic development Peace Corps Volunteer. Along with her Kiva Fellowship, she is extending a third year with the Peace Corps as a Peace Corps Volunteer Leader.