Jun 4, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Last week, we released a new set of improvements to the Kiva website. Here's an overview. FAQs on Contact Page Kiva receives over 3,000 messages a month via our Contact Us form. Each case is read by one of our hard-working Community Support team members and receives a personal reply. Now, after our recent update, people seeking help are presented with a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to various topics in the Contact Us form, in case any of these answers address their questions. We hope this will allow some people to find the information they are looking for... Continue Reading >>

Jun 3, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Kiva is thrilled to welcome Advans Côte d'Ivoire as our newest field partner!  Known as Advans CI, the organization is the fifth microfinance institution established by Advans SA, a multi-national microfinance group already working in Cameroon, Ghana, Pakistan, Cambodia, and more places.  Advans CI, founded in March 2012, is on a mission to provide credit and savings products -- in addition to other financial services -- to micro, small and medium enterprises in Côte d'Ivoire. After just one year, it's served over 3,000 clients with more than $5 million... Continue Reading >>

May 31, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

The month of June evokes many things -- summer, graduations, beaches. But this June evokes much more. June is one especially inspirational Kiva Zip borrower who has experienced more than her fair share of hardships in her life. The twelfth of 17 children, she was born to poor, uneducated parents who couldn't provide basic love and affection for each other and their own children. June never really knew her father, and when she was just 13, her mother disappeared with five of her younger siblings, leaving the others to fend for themselves. Six of her 16... Continue Reading >>

May 24, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

On Tuesday night, the City of Oakland approved the proposal that would make them the first U.S. city to become a Kiva Zip trustee! Kiva Zip is a pilot program within Kiva that uses mobile and electronic payment technology to enable direct, zero-interest loans between lenders and borrowers -- helping us reach more types of borrowers than ever before! In the Zip model, “trustees” have taken the place of field partners. Trustees endorse borrowers based on their character and business plans, recommending them as good candidates for Zip loans. While trustees never... Continue Reading >>

May 23, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Canterbury Microeconomics Club A Thank You Poem (Inspired by the rhymes of the Grade Three Kiva Ninjas at Bear Creek Elementary) Not all feel compelled to jump up and dance, Upon hearing that April’s Month of Micro-finance. Once you’ve heard these stories, though, we know you’ll be crumping, Cuz’ since we heard them here, our hearts have been thumping... It wasn’t enough just to say “thanks,” this time, So we’ll try to impress you by making it rhyme. Since space here on the blog is just a... Continue Reading >>

May 23, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

To conclude our Passport Series on Rwanda, we would like to share with you a couple of particularly inspiring borrower stories to remind you just how impactful a $25 loan can be -- especially in a country where almost 45% of the population lives below the poverty line. Meet Felicite.  A 45-year-old mother of two, her (and her family’s) livelihood depends on her farm -- just like 90% of the Rwandan population. That translates to: no crops, no income. Because the sector is deemed to be very high-risk, it's extremely hard for farmers in Rwanda to... Continue Reading >>

May 22, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

After several weeks of extensive user testing, we’re excited to release a new site update for the lending team "About" pages next week. This is all part of a concerted effort to better integrate lender feedback into our design process, and I’m personally excited about how much we’ve been able to do with this next round of changes. In addition to your emails and comments on the blog and lending teams, we sent out multiple surveys, interviewed a number of lenders and even had lenders visit our office so that we could learn directly from their experiences. I...
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May 22, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

‘'It’s amazing to see the other volunteers dedicating themselves to Kiva. I am truly in awe of them and how much they know. I can always draw on them through the forum when I have a question and within seconds people respond!" City: Minneapolis, United States Languages: Spanish Team: Saliendo Adelante Time with Kiva: 3 years and 5 months Outstanding contributions to Kiva: Pam McMurry, a dedicated Spanish translator, is coming up on 3.5 years reviewing loan... Continue Reading >>

May 16, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

This past week we've seen so many great videos that really resonated with us. So we would like to leave you with some inspirational weekend watching material! Video is an utterly unique medium, with so much potential. We're looking forward to bringing you more stories of Kiva borrowers on video, especially as the next class of Kiva Fellows prepares to head out into the field after training this week. In the meantime though, here are some staff favorites.  1. Taken from a commencement address by David Foster Wallace, "This is Water"... Continue Reading >>

May 15, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

This is a guest post by Emily Stone, the managing director at Kiva partner Maya Mountain Cacao in Belize. MMC supports cacao growers in the country to improve their livelihoods and get their high-quality product to market. Chocolate. Dark brown, delicious, sweet, creamy, cocoa-loaded delights. Brownies, cookies, mousse, tarts, cakes, ganache. Candy bars, truffles, and bonbons. This is the chocolate that we all know and love. Given as gifts between couples, used to celebrate special events, and craved by the masses sitting at school desks and work desks around the... Continue Reading >>