Kiva Reaches $200 Million in Microfinance Loans
Kiva.org, a non-profit which facilitates microfinance loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, announced that it had setup more than $200 million in loans to entrepreneurs across the globe. The milestone comes just twelve months after the non-profit hit the $100 million mark in facilitated loans.
The microfinance non-profit has seen significant growth since its launch in October 2005. The company said in a recent press release that it “has evolved into a marketplace for lending that extends beyond entrepreneurs in developing countries to include loans in the United States and a pilot student loan program.” Lenders on the website have made a total of 570,000 loans to more than 531,000 entrepreneurs in 59 different countries around the world.
Kiva.org President Premal Shah commented, “Reaching an additional $100 million in loans in just over a year is a tremendous achievement for us and speaks to the passion of the Kiva community.” He added, “In the past year, we have successfully leveraged the Kiva platform to reach new microloan markets like loans for students and, in the future, will look to new categories that contribute to the alleviation of global poverty like green and water loans. This would not be possible without the support of our partners, volunteers and lenders, who have played a significant role in making Kiva what it is today, so we would like to take this opportunity to thank you.”
The company has rolled out a number of growth initiatives during the last year. In September 2010, the service launched a pilot student loan program in Bolivia, Paraguay and Lebanon. In October 2010, Kiva partnered with Visa and Accion Texas-Louisiana to offer additional growth opportunities for U.S. small businesses. Kiva launched joinFITE.org in January 2011 in order to help move the Kiva platform “into retail environments and other offsite experiences, providing a new vehicle for micro loans to women entrepreneurs”
In the last year, Kiva established its presence for the first time in South Africa and Jordan through new local field partners, and also added new field partners in the Congo, Kenya, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Colombia.