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At last night’s meeting we had club member Kathy present on what is KIVA and how our investment in this project is progressing.

KIVA is a international non-profit organisation who created a platform that uses crowdfunding micro loans and unlocking capital for the under-served, improving the quality and cost of financial services, and addressing the underlying barriers to financial access around the world. Essentially, creating a space where people can have one-to-one impact, and together, expand financial access for all.

More than 1.7 billion people around the world are unbanked and can’t access the financial services they need.

Through Kiva’s work, students can pay for tuition, women can start businesses, farmers are able to invest in equipment and families can afford needed emergency care.


Kiva was founded in 2005 in San Francisco by Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley. The couple’s initial interest in microfinance was inspired by a lecture they attended at Stanford Business School. Jackley began working as a consultant for a non-for-profit which worked to help start small businesses in East Africa. While Flannery was visiting Jackley in Africa, the two spent time interviewing entrepreneurs about the problems they faced in starting ventures and found the lack of access to start-up capital was a common theme. After returning to the US the two began developing their plan for a microfinance project that would grow into Kiva, which means “unity” in Swahili.


KIVA believe lending alongside thousands of others is one of the most powerful and sustainable ways to create economic and social good. Lending on Kiva creates a partnership of mutual dignity and makes it easy to touch more lives with the same dollar. Fund a loan, get repaid, fund another.

Kiva is a pioneer in crowdfunding, and is constantly innovating to meet people’s diverse lending needs. Whether it’s reinventing Microfinance with more flexible terms, supporting community-wide projects or lowering costs to borrowers, they are always testing and learning.

Since 2005, Kiva has funded 2.3 million loans, totaling $2 billion U.S., with a repayment rate of 96.3%. Over 2 million lenders worldwide use the Kiva platform and has reached over 5 million people in 94 countries.

How do Kiva loans work?

Kiva works with more than 300 microfinance institutions, social impact businesses, schools and non-profit organisations around the world, called “Field Partners”, that post profiles of qualified local entrepreneurs on the Kiva website. 

Lenders browse borrower profiles on kiva.org website and choose an venture they wish to fund. The lenders transfer their funds to Kiva through a credit card or PayPal, which waives its transaction fee in these cases. Lenders can loan money in increments of $25.

After receiving lenders’ money, Kiva assembles the loan capital from the individual lenders and transfers it to the appropriate Field Partners, which dispenses the loan to the borrower. 

Kiva does not charge interest on the capital sent to Field Partners, but often Field Partners do charge some level of interest to borrowers to cover administration costs. As the entrepreneurs repay their loans with interest, the Field Partners remit funds back to Kiva. As the loan is repaid, the Kiva lenders can withdraw their principal or re-lend it to another venture.

Why we support Women with Agriculture type businesses?

Our club’s main focus when selecting loans are women in agriculture:

More than 50% of all unbanked people worldwide are women — with little to no access to financial services.

Research shows that women are more likely to invest their earnings in ways that have a long-term impact on their families and communities.

In lower-income countries, only 1 in 4 businesses are owned by women.

Because so many women entrepreneurs are excluded from accessing loans or savings accounts, it is difficult to start a business, pursue higher education, or improve one’s livelihood.

KIVA has reached 3.82 million Women and funded $1.5 Billion in loans

Our Account Overview

Our KIVA account was established back in 2012, via Rotary Club of Makin Edge, who bequeathed it to us to continue the mission after they dissolved. Below is a snap shot on how much we have invested ($ are in US) and the impact it has made globally.

Please check out our Public Lender Profile on KIVA.


Lifting one, to lift many

When a Kiva loan enables someone to grow a business and create opportunity for themselves, it creates opportunities for others as well. That ripple effect can shape the future for a family or an entire community.

A concept that Rotary treasures.