What is a trustee?

Empower entrepreneurs in your community with 0% interest loans.

Trustees are people or organizations that publicly vouch for entrepreneurs in their community for the Kiva program. Many entrepreneurs in the US struggle to access capital to launch or grow their business, and as a Trustee, you can empower entrepreneurs in your community with 0% interest loans.

Trustees add credibility to a borrower by vouching for their character, business, and social impact. Before endorsing a borrower, a trustee should feel confident that the borrower has done the work to be successful and that they are committed to repaying the loan. Additionally, a trustee should be sure that the loan will increase business revenue, and that this growth will have a positive impact on the borrower’s business. Trustees are not legally or financially liable for any borrower they recommend to Kiva. 

A Trustee publicly endorses entrepreneurs in their community for the Kiva program. 

There are three primary components of a Trustee partnership:

Trustee responsibilities 

  1. Spread the word about Kiva! A primary trustee responsibility is to let entrepreneurs in their community know that they can take advantage of a Kiva loan.

  2. Vouch for creditworthiness.  A Trustee is not economically responsible for the borrower, but should be confident in the borrower's business plan and strongly believe in its viability.

  3. Help ensure that a borrower is successful. We lean on our Trustees to ensure that our borrowers are successful -- in the application, fundraising, and repayment process.  The trustee will track the borrower’s progress as they apply, provide resources and advice during fundraising, and follow up with the borrower during the repayment process.

What your endorsement will do

  1. Create a smoother review experience. When a borrower is endorsed by a successful trustee, they have an even easier time getting through the Kiva review process.

  2. Expand a borrower’s network. When a trustee endorses a borrower, the loan will be exposed to the trustee’s larger network and its visibility will be increased.

  3. Assist entrepreneurs. Use your own business experience and role in the community to advise borrowers and help their loan succeed.

Benefits of being a Kiva trustee

  1. Increase the exposure of your organization. Your trustee profile page publicly showcases your organization and impact to date and is visible to our 1.3 million lenders around the world.

  2. Track your impact over time. Trustees can track and share the data on the loans they endorse to communicate their impact. We’ve had many trustees leverage this data to demonstrate their impact to funders, and raise grant funding.

  3. Invest in your community. By helping entrepreneurs gain access to funding to start or grow a business you have the chance to make an integral impact in your community.


Apply to become a trustee here


About the author

Kathinka K. Nakstad

Kathinka moved to San Francisco to pursue her BBA degree, with a major in marketing. Being form Norway, she time to time misses the different seasons (especially winters with snow). One of her hobbies consists of finding a part of a city and explore it for a whole day. Checking out cool boutiques, and the best places to eat. Two of her favorite places to visit are Budapest and Vienna. No wonder her dream job would be to travel the world and write about the places she visits.