Kiva Brings Together 150 Inspired Students and Educators for First Ever Kiva U Summit!

This weekend, we're thrilled to welcome more than 150 college and high school student leaders and educators from around the world to the first-ever Kiva U Summit in San Francisco!

Over the next four days, this incredible group will learn about a range of issues and how to take action to expand financial inclusion and alleviate poverty. Made possible through a partnership with Citi Microfinance, the Summit's agenda is designed to help students and teachers reach beyond the walls of the classroom, and engage with area experts and each other around topcs of microfinance, financial literacy, and grassroots leadership. Tonight, the group of 150 will convene with Kiva Staff at the HUB, an innovative co-working space in the city, and the Summit will conclude with some quality time at Kiva HQ on Monday.

Launched in August, Kiva U is an ambitious initiative to build, strengthen and connect school-based microfinance clubs, develop tools and curricula to introduce students to microfinance as a tool for change, and create communities of like-minded peers to take meaningful action. Now both students and teachers can start and join Kiva U teams to share ideas and materials. Kiva U has also curated a trove of resources to help these leaders become more involved and engaged. 

“A generational shift in global engagement is occurring. New technologies, like those leveraged by Kiva, are enabling young people to engage as global citizens in ways that were impossible even just a few years ago,” says Kiva President Premal Shah, who will speak several times throughout the weekend. “Kiva U provides the platform and the tools for students to learn about and take real-world action on critical issues, from global poverty to financial inclusion.”

Today, Kiva campus chapters exist at 67 colleges and 60 high schools, and more than 2,400 additional school-based Kiva lending teams have been established around the world. The launch of Kiva U accelerated that momentum, with 8,000 more students joining teams and an additional 450 new student teams formed in just the past six weeks.
With all their expenses aside from transportation covered, Kiva U Summit attendees will have the opportunity to work directly with experts in microfinance and global development to explore the most challenging problems around financial access and economic development. Through a series of intensive workshops, plenaries, and face-to-face peer interaction, attendees will depart equipped with the knowledge and tools to mobilize their campuses and classrooms around poverty alleviation through microlending.

“Only weeks after launching, Kiva U is already showing great promise in raising awareness and enthusiasm around peer-to-peer microlending by providing an enhanced platform for students and educators to connect and learn from each other,” says Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development. “This weekend’s Kiva U Summit will equip participants with the knowledge and tools they need to grow the Kiva U network, further amplify Kiva U’s lessons, and spur even more classroom and campus engagement.”
In addition to Shah and Annibale, Kiva U Summit attendees will learn from a roster of influential names, including Kiva Co-Founder & CEO Matt Flannery, Accion USA CEO Gina Harman, and travel writer Bob Harris, whose seminal book The International Bank of Bob helped catalyze awareness around the power of the Kiva model to connect resources around the world to improve lives. A full speaker list is available here.

You can learn even more about Kiva U by watching this video: 

Have questions about how you can get involved with Kiva U? Send them our way at

About the author

Camille Ricketts

Camille brings her passion for storytelling to Kiva, where she helps create and curate online content. A longtime journalist, she started her career reporting on arts and culture for the Wall Street Journal in London and New York. In 2008, she joined San Francisco-based blog VentureBeat, writing about  green technology, policy and finance. Most recently, she worked in public relations for electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors. Outside of work, Camille volunteers as a web designer for maternal health nonprofit Saving Mothers. She holds a B.A. in women's history from Stanford University, where she also served as editor in chief of The Stanford Daily.