ImpactAlpha, October 7– Kiva is doing a lot these days to diversify the ways it promotes financial inclusion worldwide, but its crowdfunding platform is still the foundation of its work. The organization has reached a milestone, lending $1 billion to female borrowers, and $1.3 billion in all.
Women comprise 80% of Kiva’s borrowers. The 2.7 million women Kiva has supported since launching in 2005 live in 94 countries.
The diversity of Kiva’s female borrower base has taught the organization a lot about products and services that have the most impact on women’s financial inclusion, like loans that don’t require collateral or savings accounts, offering financial literacy training, or allowing community members to vouch for a borrower.
“It’s easy to count dollars,” Kiva’s Goldie Chow told ImpactAlpha. “What’s more difficult is getting into the weeds of how to encourage women’s financial independence and what products should actually look like, without being prescriptive.”