Aug 8, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

'Settings' can aptly be described as the plumbing of a website. They’re considerably less glamorous than the core product (e.g. lending on Kiva, posting photos on Instagram, etc.), but when they don’t work as expected it can lead to a big mess. On Kiva, the different controls we categorize as “Settings” include the type and frequency of emails you receive, how (and if) your name and photo display publicly on the Kiva website, what to do with funds that are repaid, etc. Making sure that you know how to set up your account the way you want it is part of creating a great user experience. With... Continue Reading >>

Aug 8, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Following our collaborative learning event with the Grameen Foundation on Human Centered design, we're continuing to explore effective products for the poor with our mini blog series. Our first blog covered the main concepts within product design in international development. To read more, click here. In this second installment, we explore the way Kiva partners are meeting the needs of the poor by placing their needs first and foremost. One Size definitely does not fit all - at least not with financial products. How can farmers and the poorest individuals... Continue Reading >>

Aug 7, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

We're so excited to announce a unique partnership with Etsy today to help artisans around the world get the capital they need to grow their businesses and succeed! For those who aren't familiar, Etsy is the online marketplace where people can connect to buy and sell handmade and other creative goods. With 900,000 shops and 60 million unique visitors a month, Etsy is reimagining commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling, sustainable world. This, of course, is directly in line with Kiva's mission to expand opportunity to people building sustainable businesses. It was... Continue Reading >>

Jul 22, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Ann Marie is our Volunteer of the Month for July! She works tirelessly as part of our Review and Translation Program to make loan postings accessible on the Kiva website. Without dedicated volunteers like Ann Marie, we wouldn't be able to help as many borrowers change their lives with small loans. "Kiva serves a great purpose, introducing us to and letting us fund small businesses. Working with Kiva helps us better understand the borrowers. We translate loans for individuals who often operate out of their homes and rely on this business model for their sustenance and growth.... Continue Reading >>

Jul 18, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

We’re excited to announce our new partnership with Assilassimé in Togo! Very few microfinance institutions provide credit to the very poor in Togo. Assilassimé (“Hand in Hand” in Ewe, the local language) is distinguished in the Togolese microfinance landscape because it offers services only to vulnerable individuals in the Lomé area, particularly unbanked individuals, the disabled, single mothers, sex workers, people living with HIV, and widows. Kiva funding will help the organization expand its reach so it can work with even more... Continue Reading >>

Jul 16, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Chris Bailey sees food not just as nourishment, but as a storytelling tool. A couple of years ago, he started Proxy Foods in Portland, OR. "My Company examines how we interact with a meal, an ingredient, an aroma," Chris explains.  Chris is dedicated to crafting unique food experiences. His first creation was Para Llevar, a mobile cart that serves Posole. This rustic Mexican stew invites people to actively participate in dining by adding ingredients and garnishes to a flavorful base.
Continue Reading >>

Jul 14, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

We're so thrilled to be bringing Kiva to Newark, N.J.! Starting today, we'll be offering loans to hard-working entrepreneurs in the Newark area through Kiva Zip! Zip is Kiva's pilot project to reach new types of borrowers in the U.S. and Kenya. Through Zip, anyone can endorse a deserving borrower to qualify for and raise a 0% interest loan on Kiva. These loans are made directly via mobile money and electronic payment systems, and borrowers and lenders can correspond during the term of the loan.  When you make a loan in Newark, you make so many great things happen:
Continue Reading >>

Jul 12, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Today, we released a few changes to the navigation on the Kiva website. We're really excited about these changes and we hope they'll help make it easier for lenders and new visitors to move around the site. While some of the differences are fairly subtle, we wanted to walk you through each of the changes and share a bit of context for these updates. The biggest change is the addition of “Zip”, with an eye catching “New” label. As Kiva grows, we are challenging ourselves to find new ways to reach even more people with innovative loan products. One way we've been doing this is through a pilot... Continue Reading >>

Jul 3, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

This is a guest post by Kimberly Davies, Program Officer, Financial Services at the Grameen Foundation. Many industries view similar or related organizations as competitors. I’d like to think that the international development industry is unique in viewing others as collaborators. Since everyone in this industry is working toward a common goal -- poverty alleviation -- everyone is constantly looking for ways to share findings and learn from each other. Our biggest concern is reaching a common, hugely important mission. Since this desire outreaches any other... Continue Reading >>

Jun 26, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

While microfinance has become a powerful tool to fight poverty around the world, it leaves out a critical category of businesses that have the potential to create jobs and breakout growth in developing economies: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs for short). One country where this is especially true is Iraq. Still in the early stages of recovery from the war, the country needs SMEs to build a strong foundation for healthy economic growth. At the same time, cultural restrictions and domestic norms in Iraq have vastly reduced the number of career options for women --... Continue Reading >>