Kiva Lenders become important catalysts in helping entrepreneurs bring green solutions to the world


San Francisco, CA - May 4, 2011 - Kiva.org, the world's largest personal micro-lending website, has announced the launch of a new loan category: Kiva Green Loans. Green Loans enable the Kiva community to more easily locate and lend as little as $25 to green businesses and individuals around the world, as they make the transition to cleaner and more efficient sources of energy. Kiva Green Loans include both business and personal loans that contribute towards reducing energy expenditures, minimizing waste and pollution, recycling, or re-purposing used materials – all of which work toward the greater goal of alleviating energy poverty and helping the environment.

"Much of the developing world spends hours a day gathering wood and other materials for fuel, losing countless hours and often inadvertently damaging the environment. This lack of access to heat sources and electricity, often called 'Energy Poverty,' can have a big impact on quality of life," said Premal Shah, President of Kiva.org. "Microfinance can help provide solutions for energy poverty problems like these by, for example, funding the purchase of high-efficiency cookers and low-propane gas stoves. Green loans can not only save the borrowers money, but also help reduce our collective impact on the environment."

Kiva Green Loans will also more directly support efforts to reduce waste and pollution across the globe. Recycling and pollution reduction offer an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs around the world to re-purpose materials for re-sale and help cut down on trash.

Kiva Green Loans can be accessed from the new Green Loans module on the lend tab. An example of the types of loans listed here is Blanca Rosa of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Rosa requested a $500 loan from Kiva to help her expand her business of converting taxi engines to run on natural gas. She was able to purchase an emulator, timing devices, iron, bolts, and other supplies for her gas conversion workshop, where she notes that many vehicles are undergoing the conversion from gasoline to natural gas because it is more affordable, reduces fuel costs and helps reduce air pollution: http://www.kiva.org/lend/229893

Other examples of Green Loans include loans to create or purchase organic fertilizer; loans to purchase renewable energy-generating devices, such as solar panels, wind power and biofuels; loans for transportation, including hybrid cars, converting cars to natural gas or purchasing a bicycle; loans for “green” home improvements, including more efficient heating methods or high-efficiency cookers/low propane gas stoves; and recycling-related loans, such as re-purposing or transforming used or recycled materials.

"Green loans is an exciting new initiative in the microfinance industry,” added Shah. “We are excited to present this new loan opportunity to the Kiva community, as we’re confident they will respond with support and enthusiasm. As our partner microfinance institutions experiment with green loans, this support will help drive the growth of this important microloan category.”

To learn more about how you can help support the green microloan movement, visit www.kiva.org.

About Kiva.org

Kiva.org is the world's first personal micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. Founded in 2005, Kiva.org's mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. Over 570,000 people have loaned more than $200 million to 537,000 entrepreneurs in 59 countries. Kiva.org is headquartered in San Francisco.

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Media Contact:

Krista Van Lewen
Kiva.org
kvanlewen@kiva.org
415.608.0263

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