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KIVA, « loans that change lives »

7. Community involvement

Social investment


Microcredit which aims to fight against poverty experienced its boom after its founder Muhammad Yunus obtained the Nobel Prize. Through this loan scheme, small companies can start or expand and repay sums advanced smoothly.

Matthew and Jessica Flannery, a young American couple decided in 2004 to create an internet website that would directly connect people: individuals from rich countries who want to help small entrepreneurs in poor countries who need a financial boost: it’s solidarity web version 2.

Thus was created Kiva - unity in Swahili - the first not for profit website. 


- To connect people from developed countries with small entrepreneurs around the world through micro loans.
- To help entrepreneurs from the South to gain autonomy
- To Ensure full-transparency on the amounts that transit as well as their effects on beneficiaries of its loans 


Every person with internet access and a credit card can choose to lend money with no interest to hundreds of micro-entrepreneurs from some thirty developing countries. In order to do that, Kiva built partnerships with existing networks of experts in Micro credit: the Institutes of Microfinance (MFIs). These MFIs choose entrepreneurs whose project seems viable. Kiva then publishes the profiles of selected entrepreneurs, and users can directly proceed to a loan. The length of a loan varies on average between 6 and 12 months. This plan rests on the necessary credibility of MFIs. With regards to promotion, the platform benefits from the support of companies of the Silicon Valley like PayPal, this offers the website its services for free. MySpace and YouTube on their part have advertising banners of Kiva. Another important partner, Google publishes free advertisings for the site. Also, Kiva which defines itself as a philanthropic website 2.0 has to be transparent. To this effect, monitoring repayments is ensured during the length of the loan. The user is informed in real time of its reimbursement, and may help another entrepreneur.


- Loans granted: 44 millions de dollars


- 92 000 entrepreneurs helped around the world

United States

Mise à jour le 20/05/2016

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