Above and Beyond Microcredit: Kiva Field Partners with a Social Mission
A key component of Kiva's efforts to connect people throughout the world is to partner with trustworthy and high-impact organizations. While there are many notable microfinance institutions, not all meet Kiva's standards of being a Kiva Field Partner.
Not Just MicrocreditKiva Field Partners go beyond providing sustainable microcredit services. In order to highlight their outstanding efforts to serve their community's needs, Kiva created the Social Performance Badges. Using the Social Performance Task Force's definition of “social performance," the badges highlight different aspects of social performance that each Field Partner is committed to addressing so that lenders can be better informed when making lending decisions.
Here's a list of a few of the Field Partners I've had the privilege of working with…
Simply put, the Social Performance Badges can be used to see in what ways your Kiva loans can help Field Partners impact the lives of borrowers beyond providing access to capital.
Social Impact or Profitability?After visiting a total of 33 Kiva borrowers all over Kenya and Colombia I witnessed the high costs and challenges of visiting, serving and communicating with borrowers. Yet, Field Partners' commitment to empowering the working poor drives them to manage added risk and costs. They value social impact and sustainability over profitability.
Kiva lenders' interest free capital further supports Kiva Field Partners' ability to assume more risk since they offer their valuable services to bottom of the pyramid micro-entrepreneurs.
Field Partners can work with borrowers that may have a higher risk of default, but stand to benefit significantly from business development services and not just the micro-credit Kiva credit can provide.
Some ExamplesAfter working with CampoAlto and Interactuar in Colombia for 3 months I have seen the poverty and inevitable inequalities found in developing countries. I have also seen the growth and glimpses of the exciting future Colombian micro-entrepreneurs and innovators are creating.
Interactuar is one agent of change that has been playing an important role in tackling 9.19% unemployment and the difficulties of overcoming internal displacement by growing microbusinesses through microfinance services. They know the needs of their low-income entrepreneurs go beyond access to capital. So they offer low-cost (and much needed) business development services .
These practical skills courses, food production certifications and marketing services are designed to help micro-entrepreneurs formalize and grow their businesses into sustainable income and employment streams. Because they focus their services on the bottom of the pyramid they assume a higher risk of default but a bigger potential for impact.
Higher Risk, Bigger Impact?Despite the higher costs and logistical difficulties in providing additional services to unsafe and/or remote communities, Interactuar is committed to addressing the most pressing needs of micro-entrepreneurs regardless of their location or additional risk. While Field Partners like Interactuar aren´t the only organizations committed to empowering the working poor, Kiva recognizes their outstanding efforts for social impact inspite of added risks and costs.
Generous and risk tolerant Kiva lenders help make this happen.
Give a loan, impact more than someone's cashflow....impact a life!