We at Kiva Zip have high hopes for changing the way financially excluded and socially impactful small business owners are able to secure the capital they need to be successful. With the holidays upon us, we want to share the impact you have helped us create in the United States and Kenya over the past year. Thank you for contributing to a great 2013! We look forward to sharing new accomplishments with you in 2014.

Impact at a Glance: United States

Since the beginning of the year, 15,558 lenders from all over the world have lent $1,663,705 to 410 entrepreneurs with the help of 270 Trustees in 40 states, and the borrowers have maintained a repayment rate of 87%.

Noteworthy accomplishments: 

Impact at a Glance: Kenya

Since the beginning of the year, 1,353 lenders from all over the world have lent 14,675,199 KSh / $185,150 to 1,044 entrepreneurs with the help of 98 Trustees, and the borrowers have maintained a repayment rate of 93%.

Noteworthy accomplishments: 

Success Stories

Chris raised $10,000 with the help of 126 lenders as part of our Little Rock Kiva City launch in March. His business Little Rock Urban Farming has a new vision for agriculture in Arkansas. They are actively engaging their community about the need to address public health with sustainable agriculture.

 raised $5,000 with the help of 27 lenders for marketing his company Paper Clouds Apparela company that showcases the creative minds and artistic abilities of individuals with special needs while raising funds to provide financial support for special needs schools and organizations through the production of t-shirts, totes, and hats.

Michael used his second Kiva Zip loan to create a new product line for his business Takawiri Initiative. Takawiri produces paper from water hyacinth, which is a noxious weed found in Lake Victoria. They clean the lake and also make beautiful handmade paper products. In addition, his business aims to provide youth with an opportunity to make money instead of relying on aid.

Pamela used her fourth Kiva Zip loan to purchase additional products and materials for her store. Her business Pam Curios sells a greater variety of products to tourists and locals after having used her previous Kiva Zip loans to grow her inventory. She sells clutch purses, kanga earrings, and woolen mats, among other products, and now has enough income to pay fees for her two children in high school.

What's in Store for 2014

We plan to continue our momentum into 2014. Our primary goal is to serve more financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs, as we have begun to do in the United States and Kenya. Scaling our program will remain a focus for us in the new year. "We are working on developing relationships with other organizations that will help us reach our aggressive targets in 2014," states Justin Renfro, Associate Manager of Business Development.

In addition, we will release improvements to the Kiva Zip website. "We have a lot of exciting plans for 2014," says Kiva Zip Product Manager Daniel Jung. "We want to make Kiva Zip easier to use for all parties involved. That's a priority for us."

Finally, we will continue to test the products we offer borrowers. "In 2014 we plan to shift our risk management philosophy even further away from conventional financial metrics," states Jonny Price, Senior Director of Kiva Zip, "and even closer towards character assessment, social networks and relationships. Imagine more borrowers being asked to activate their own friends and family to make a loan to them -- that's great for spreading the word about Kiva to new lenders, and it's also great for our repayment rate."

Together, we can achieve these goals. Here's how you can help: 

  • If you know an entrepreneur who could benefit from Kiva Zip, please tell him/her to email us at ContactZip@kiva.org.
  • Lend to the entrepreneurs currently fundraising here!
  • Send us your feedback and product suggestions to ContactZip@kiva.org.

Please see the full deck summarizing Kiva Zip's performance in the US for 2013 here.

About the author

Sarah Tait