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Kiva 101: What's a Lending Partner?

How does Kiva know who needs a loan? How does the money actually reach them? What is a Lending Partner? These are questions we get a lot! To get a clearer view of how Kiva works, here's a bit about the Lending Partners we work with. 

What's a Lending Partner? Kiva works with more than 330 local organizations worldwide to distribute loans. These are our Lending Partners on the ground, meeting borrowers and delivering your loans. When you lend to most borrowers on, the funds go to Kiva’s Lending Partners, who are responsible for disbursing the loans and collecting repayments. Our Lending Partners are local nonprofits, microfinance institutions, schools, social enterprises and NGO's. Many of them provide supplementary services to borrowers, such as business counseling, entrepreneurial training or literacy skills. As a lender, you can vote with your loans by finding Lending Partners with projects you want to support. Be a part of their great work by lending your dollars to an organization you’re proud of. Browse through our awesome partners here

Here are a few cool partners that do lots of good in their community, in addition to distributing loans! 

Organizacion de Desrrollo Empresarial Femenino (ODEF)

ODEF is Kiva's Lending Partner based in Honduras. As a microfinance institution, it focuses on financing women in rural and marginal urban areas for sustainable development and quality of life improvement. The organization also has an education-based branch that works with borrowers for self-sufficiency and community development. 

ODEF staff

Chamroeun Microfinance Plc

"Chamroeun" means "progress" in Cambodian - which is fitting for this Lending Partner! It's a microfinance institution that provides individual loans as well as group loans. Group loans are an effective way to engage developing markets in finance by creating social collateral. Individuals within the group are responsible for each other's repayments, so they help keep each other on track. To supplement its loans products, Chamroeun also provides its borrowers with business training, financial literacy and social and environmental welfare. Chamroeun has also developed the capability to receive electronic payments, which is an added convenience for borrowers.

Thou lives in Cambodia and received a group loan from a Kiva Lending Partner

Juhudi Kilimo Company Limited

Kiva has close ties with Juhudi Kilimo - we shared an office with them in Nairobi until 2012! The Kenya-based for-profit enterprise aims to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers through innovative agriculture-based loans. These more flexible long-term loans help smallholder farmers afford assets like dairy cows, chickens and irrigation equipment. Today, Juhudi provides financial services to over 7,000 smallholder farmers, approximately half of whom are women. 

A Juhudi Kilimo client with her pig. Photo by Juhudi Kilimo


Kiva works with Lending Partners because they're the experts within their own communities. They help Kiva connect with borrowers all over the globe. Check out what our Lending Partners are up to here and make a loan today!


About the author

Channing Fisher.

Channing first witnessed the ability of entrepreneurship to empower people while studying Spanish in Guatemala. Throughout college, she became interested in microfinance while working in business development in the Netherlands and studying the effects of tourism on Caribbean economies. After graduating from Principia College in 2018 with degrees in Political Science and Business, she began work for a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit and later found Kiva. She's passionate about communicating and sharing the work done at Kiva and elsewhere in the international development space.