Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. In eight years, lenders from all over the world have contributed nearly $500,000,000 in loans that have gone to over 1,000,000+ borrowers in 70 countries. Donations to Kiva through EDC 2013's fundraising drive will support the Kiva Zip program.  Shining Hope for Communities is the Trustee for Kiva Zip, so funds raised will support the Kiva Zip program which supports entrepreneurialism in Kibera.  As of August 1, 2013 34 borrowers that were endorsed by Shining Hope for Communities have received a Kiva loan.  Click here to learn about recent endorsements.

What is Kiva Zip?

Kiva Zip is a pilot program launched by Kiva, the world’s first and largest micro-lending website. Kiva became famous for enabling anyone with an internet connection to lend as little as $25 to alleviate poverty.

Kiva Zip takes this model even further by making it possible for lenders to send funds directly to the entrepreneurs they support. We have three major goals here:
  1. Help entrepreneurs access the financial services they need. While microfinance has helped millions, many people have been left out: Think remote rural villages in Kenya or recent refugees with no credit history in the United States. By making lending easy on the internet, and tying loans to borrowers’ characters rather than their credit scores, Kiva Zip aims to reach the world’s most marginalized entrepreneurs with the financial tools they need to succeed.

  2. Lower fees and interest rates to make borrowing affordable. Because Kiva Zip operates online and uses mobile payment technologies to move money, it’s able to slash the cost of making microfinance loans. These savings are passed along to borrowers in the form of lower interest rates. In fact, Kiva Zip loans are currently offered at 0% interest with no fees.

  3. Cultivate community between borrowers and lenders. Kiva is all about forging connections between lenders and borrowers on opposite sides of the world. Kiva Zip strengthens these relationships even more by letting people send messages back and forth, including words of encouragement, updates from borrowers as they succeed, and notes about how loans have helped businesses thrive.

How Does it Work?

Borrowers apply for Kiva Zip loans by filling out an online application form. Every borrower must be endorsed by a trustee. Trustees never handle the money, but their public reputation is tied to the repayment record of the borrowers they endorse.

Lenders visit the Kiva Zip website, and choose which borrowers they want to make a loan to. Once a loan is fully funded, Kiva Zip sends the loan amount directly to the borrower. Over the course of the loan term, the borrower promises to pay their lenders back in regular installments. As the lenders get their money back, they can relend the money, or withdraw it from Kiva Zip.

Why Kenya and the United States?

Currently, Kiva Zip is focused on serving loans in the United States and Kenya only as we develop this direct lending model.   We chose to work in Kenya becuase the prevalence and popularity of M-PESA mobile payment technology makes it easy to transfer money directly to cell phones of borrowers.  Kiva also has an office in Nairobi, making it easy to monitor the program as it expands.  The United States was also a natural choice -- home to Kiva headquarters as well as thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs that could uniquely benefit from Kiva Zip's 0% interest capital.

Donation Levels/Impact for KIVA:

  • $50 - Empower more borrowers.  $50 helps generate another $500 in loans from our online community.

  • $100 - Better Technology & Innovation.  $100 makes Kiva's technology smarter, faster, and better.

  • $250 - Fund Site Visits to Trustees and Borrowers.  $250 helps fund site visits to 5 Trustees and Borrowers each week.

  • $1000 - Support a Kiva Zip Fellow.  $1,000 Supports a week of field training for one Kiva Zip Fellow before they go into the field.

  • $5000 - Expand into new geographies.  Helps Kiva review new partnerships and can enable expansion into new geographies.