At Kiva, we’ve been making changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to new and difficult economic problems across the world.
One group we’ve been in close contact with throughout this process is our Field Partners, who are responsible for disbursing loans to our borrowers and collecting repayments on the ground in the many countries where we operate. Our Field Partners are local nonprofits, microfinance institutions, schools, social enterprises and NGOs — many of whom provide supplementary services to borrowers, such as business counseling, entrepreneurial training or literacy skills. We are seeing that many of our Field Partners, like small businesses around the world, are facing new challenges as their operations have been greatly impacted due to stay at home orders in their countries.
Our Field Partners are extremely important to us and to the microfinance infrastructure. To support them during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re launching a new product called Crisis Support Loans.
We are working to innovate as fast as possible in our COVID-19 response to meet our Field Partners’ needs. While our Field Partners normally use the Kiva platform to raise loans for their end borrowers, Crisis Support Loans provide funds directly to our Field Partners to cover their operating needs during this challenging period. Some of these needs include:
- Paying salaries and retaining staff jobs while Field Partners are unable to lend and operate their business as usual.
- Investing in upgrading communication technology to be able to work remotely and continue to serve borrowers.
- Creating, marketing and financing a new emergency loan product specifically designed for entrepreneurs affected by this crisis.
These new larger loans will range in size, from $50k to $500k, and will offer flexible repayment options to meet our Field Partners’ needs, such as grace periods and longer terms.
We’re thrilled to be adding this new product to Kiva as part of our COVID-19 pandemic response, and we believe our lenders will enthusiastically support our hardworking Field Partners so that they will be best positioned to continue serving borrowers in their community.
We are also offering Crisis Support Loans to borrowers who received loans through our Labs Social Enterprises loan program, obtaining working capital loans for their businesses. These loans will typically be smaller than the Crisis Support Loans you will see posted for our larger Field Partners.
Additionally, you can donate to support Kiva’s COVID-19 response here, so that we can keep introducing new products to help borrowers around the world recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
Thank you for your support!