Kiva Labs

Our Approach

Microfinance has immense potential for improving the lives of the poor. In the last 40 years, it has reached nearly 200 million people. But — while the existing system strives to reach everyone — traditional microfinance still leaves a huge number of people out:

President Premal Shah on Kiva Labs.
  • Subsistence farmers enduring uncertain seasons and harvests.
  • Students who make the grades but can’t afford college.
  • Extremely rural families with little opportunity.
  • Millions more who have the potential to change their lives with the right loan products. 

Traditional banks and microfinance institutions are often unable or reluctant to offer flexible loan products to meet these people’s needs -- mostly due to high costs and risk.

Enter Kiva. With thousands of lenders worldwide who don’t think like banks, Kiva is a powerful source of flexible, risk-tolerant capital. More and more, we’re directing this capital to social enterprises, NGOs, and microfinance institutions that are going beyond classic microfinance to take on issues like education, clean energy, agriculture and others that are central to poverty alleviation and economic opportunity.

Through Labs, we provide crowd-sourced capital to relieve the cost constraints on new ideas. And together with this new breed of Kiva partners, we’re testing and developing new financial products for borrowers worldwide.

Our approach is to see what works and share the results with a global audience. Ultimately, our hope is to get high-impact products to people who have been too long overlooked, and demonstrate their success to the global market.

Kiva Labs is supported by:


Research Partners:

Kiva has partnered with these organizations to measure the impact for select innovations.