Support from community, partners and volunteers accelerates Kiva’s ability to serve more of the world’s poor with microloans


San Francisco, CA – April 5, 2011 – Kiva.org, the world's first personal micro-lending website, today announced that it has facilitated over $200 million in loans globally. This milestone comes just a little over a year after Kiva reached $100 million in loans, signifying that in the past year alone, the Kiva community has loaned an equal amount to the world’s poor in one year as they had in the previous four years of Kiva’s history combined.

Since launching in October 2005, Kiva has achieved significant growth and has evolved into a marketplace for lending that extends beyond entrepreneurs in developing countries to include loans in the United States and a pilot student loan program. In its five and a half years, over 570,000 lenders have made loans through Kiva, helping to fund nearly 531,000 entrepreneurs and students in 59 countries around the world.

"Reaching an additional $100 million in loans in just over a year is a tremendous achievement for us and speaks to the passion of the Kiva community,” said Premal Shah, President of Kiva.org. “In the past year, we have successfully leveraged the Kiva platform to reach new microloan markets like loans for students and, in the future, will look to new categories that contribute to the alleviation of global poverty like green and water loans. This would not be possible without the support of our partners, volunteers and lenders, who have played a significant role in making Kiva what it is today, so we would like to take this opportunity to thank you."

In the past year, Kiva has achieved several notable accomplishments, including:

  • Student Loans: In September 2010, Kiva expanded its loan offerings by launching a pilot student loans program in Bolivia, Paraguay and Lebanon. Student loans provide recipients with the opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills that better position them to find jobs, support their families and grow their communities. All of the loans in the initial group of students on the Kiva website were funded within 24 hours following the launch of the program.

     

  • Partner Growth: In January 2011, Kiva launched joinFITE.org with founding partner Dermalogica to extend the Kiva platform into retail environments and other offsite experiences, providing a new vehicle for micro loans to women entrepreneurs. The program is open to any companies interested in helping women start or grow a business; as an example, Dermalogica is donating $1 for every consumer that redeems a joinFITE code printed inside five of their top-selling, re-packaged joinFITE products.

    In October 2010, Kiva partnered with Visa Inc. to expand opportunities for U.S. small businesses, including building the awareness, understanding, and availability of microloans. This partnership coincided with Kiva’s expansion in the Gulf Coast region and new partnership with Accion Texas-Louisiana, the largest microfinance institution in the country.

    In August 2010, Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, awarded $5 million to further develop Kiva’s technology and expand into new markets. During the first two years of the grant, Omidyar Network will match up to $2 million of online donations from individual Kiva lenders.

    As lead corporate contributor to Kiva's long-term growth plan, Chevron completed a $1M award to support Kiva's expansion in the U.S. and around the world through its California Partnerships.

    The Moody’s Foundation continued its support for the Moody's Field Specialists Program to help expand the Kiva partner network by deploying in-country microfinance talent with an estimated $888,000 in grants and in-kind services.

  • Accolades: In May 2010, Kiva won a $1 million grant to support small businesses in the U.S. and around the world from the Sam’s Club “Giving Made Simple” campaign.

    Kiva was named number six of the ‘50 Best Microfinance Nonprofits in the World’ by Philanthropedia in October 2010 and a winner of the American Express Members Project in February 2011. That same month, Kiva received a four out of four star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator that helps individuals make informed decisions about organizations to which to donate.

  • Global Expansion: In the last year, Kiva established its presence for the first time in South Africa and Jordan through new local field partners, and also added new field partners in the Congo, Kenya, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Colombia.

 

As 2011 continues, Kiva is excited to keep its momentum going with new lending options, new field partners, and new possibilities for those in need of opportunity around the world.

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 531,000 entrepreneurs in 59 countries. Kiva.org is headquartered in San Francisco.