Kiva is a nonprofit organization that aims to alleviate poverty through lending. By leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
Kiva works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. 100% of every loan is sent to these microfinance institutions, which Kiva calls Field Partners, who administer the loans in the field. Kiva does not charge interest to Field Partners.
Kiva relies on a worldwide network of over 450 volunteers who work with Kiva's Field Partners, to edit and translate borrower stories, and ensure the smooth operation of countless other Kiva programs.
Microfinance is a general term to describe financial services to low-income individuals or to those who do not have access to typical banking services.
Microfinance is based on the idea that low-income individuals are capable of lifting themselves out of poverty when given access to financial services.
Publicly available: yes
Countries where available: Worldwide