What is Kiva?

What is Kiva?

A borrower applies for a loan, the loan goes through the underwriting and approval process and then the loan is posted to Kiva for lenders to support. The various lenders then crowdfund the loan in increments of $25 or more, made from the lender’s Kiva account. A single loan may have numerous lenders, depending on the commitment by each and the total value of the loan requested.

Once the fundraising is complete, the funds are disbursed to the borrower, who then repays the loan based on the given repayment schedule and the borrower’s ability to repay. Those repayments are deposited directly back into the lender’s Kiva account, and are then available to re-lend.

These loans assist borrowers in more than 80 countries who are often financially excluded and can’t access other fair and accordable sources of credit. Some loan requests are as low as $325.

Kiva never collects interest on the loans and individual Kiva lenders do not receive interest from loans they collect on Kiva. Borrowers do pay interest to the Field Partners who do the underwriting and approval for the loans. Many of these Field Partners also provide additional services with the loans including training, financial literacy classes or health services.

Through Kiva, there are an average $2.5 million in loans made each week. In June 2017, $1 billion was lent through Kiva. Of the total, 81% of the borrowers were female. The loans supported 219,435 borrowers in conflict zones, 526,197 farmers supported, 749,149 borrowers supported in the world’s least developed countries and 28,234 education loans were made.

Though there are many opportunities for lending, BPW has traditionally focused on assisting female borrowers. BPW Saskatoon has been lending via Kiva since 2008, and in that time, has had the following impact:

  • Our total Kiva investment was $627.50
  • Since 2008, this $627.50 has resulted in total loans made of $7,275
  • 190 loans have been made to individuals in 46 countries

Kiva is making a difference.

Would you like to help? There are a multitude of ways you can assist this organization, the easiest of which is to Click Here to purchase a Kiva Card and send it to BPW’s account, where it can be added to the pool of funds currently used. You can purchase the card in any $25 increment, and send via email to advocacy@bpwsaskatoon.com.

If you’d prefer to be more direct, you may Click Here to set up your own account and start lending!

Lisa Steinhilber
Advocacy Director, BPW Saskatoon