Kiva is taking new steps in 2019 to increase our impact

With your support, Kiva has built one of the most impactful investment portfolios on the planet! To date we have deployed $1.3 billion in loans to 2.6 million people globally. This funding has changed the lives of individuals, their families and the communities in which they live in ways they never thought possible. It has enabled single parents to build their businesses, women to achieve higher education, refugees to rebuild their lives in new communities, smallholder farmers to invest in their crops, and so much more. 

Facilitating finance in communities that need it the most is no small endeavor. But thanks to you we continue to provide opportunity to the people who need it. And we’re not done! There are 1.7 billion people who are still excluded from traditional forms of financing. This year, we are taking new steps to fulfill our vision of a financially inclusive world where all people hold the power to improve their lives. 

Kiva staff with a Field Partner

Here are a few of the ways our platform is evolving to grow our impact:

More money to borrowers and fewer expiring loans. 

Lenders, we hear you! No one likes expiring loans. We’re excited to introduce “Flexible” funding. To increase the amount of capital we send to borrowers, we are changing our policy that required every crowdfunding loan to hit 100% of its goal before we fund a borrower. Going forward, loans will still have 30 days to fundraise, but for loans marked “Funding model: Flexible,” we’ll send the partial amount raised even if it doesn’t hit its goal. Any mention of loans “Expiring soon” will be changing to “Ending soon” to include both funding models.

Currency loss protection for borrowers and Field Partners. 

Many of our borrowers live in markets with volatile currencies. If local currencies fluctuate and lose value during the course of a Kiva loan, Field Partners must use more of their local currency in order to repay Kiva in US dollars, increasing the cost of borrowing from Kiva. Managing this currency risk takes an operational toll on our Field Partners and can hinder their ability to work with new borrowers or post more loans on Kiva’s platform. Field Partners in some regions now have the option to pass on all currency risk to Kiva lenders instead of having to cover the first 10%. Rather than exposing Field Partners to harmful currency devaluations, this risk-free capital will help Field Partners stabilize their cash flow and support more borrowers. These losses can really add up for Field Partners, hurting their ability to serve borrowers, but Kiva lenders can keep losses small by diversifying their lending across many countries. To read more about how currency loss affects Kiva, click here.  

Improvements to Kiva’s internal Field Partner platform. 

We want our Field Partners to reach as many borrowers as possible. In order to support their growing needs, we are improving the Kiva Field Partner platform and increasing our technical assistance. 

These changes won’t happen overnight, but we are confident they will help Kiva reach more borrowers and increase our impact. To support these improvements and Kiva’s continued growth, we are asking select Field Partners to contribute small platform service fees as we continue building innovative technologies that help create a more financially inclusive world. For more details, please read this FAQ

Thank you for being part of Kiva’s journey and our movement for financial inclusion! 

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.