Kiva is a micro-financing website that you can use to loan money to entrepreneurs in developing countries.
As a business owner, you can also get a loan of upwards of $10,000 at 0% interest!
In this article, we’re giving you a comprehensive review of the platform to see if it’s right for you. Kiva is growing fast — and could make a huge impact on your entrepreneurial journey!
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For now, let’s give you the full review of Kiva!
What is Kiva?
As mentioned at the top of this article, Kiva is a micro-financing platform.
But what exactly does that mean, anyway?
With micro-financing, you can lend a small amount of money to entrepreneurs across the globe. Kiva is leading the pack in terms of making these transactions, with:
- $1.6 billion in loans funded from 1.9 million lenders
- 96% repayment rate
- Operating in 77 countries over the last 15 years
Unlike with a bank loan, micro-financing allows small businesses, creators, and entrepreneurs to be incentivized to give back and repay the loan due to its community-oriented approach.
Individuals lending on the platform can give as little as $25 to make an impact. There are so many amazing ways to get involved!
Kiva for Lenders
If you’re interested in participating as a lender on the Kiva platform, you should be aware that this isn’t a money-making venture.
This is because the borrower is only responsible for paying back the principle — there are no interest payments that end up in your back pocket.
This is what makes Kiva special — it affords in-need, underprivileged entrepreneurs to receive funds without accumulating a mountain of debt.
You can also set up a Kiva lending team to collaborate with other lenders who are interested in similar ventures, affiliations, or locations.
Even smaller loans can go a long way. You can interact with the people you lend to in order to see where the funds have been allocated, and the profits they gained from your assistance!
All you have to do to get started it:
- Create an account.
- Select a category or region that is of interest to you.
- Browse entrepreneurs in need!
It’s that easy!
When browsing, you’ll get details such as:
- How and what the funds will be allocated towards
- The story behind the project
- Loan length
- Repayment schedules
- Risk Ratings
The interface is super intuitive and easy-to-operate — so if you’re interested in getting started as a lender — I highly recommend at least dipping your toes in with a small donation!
For more information on this side of the operation, visit the Kiva How It Works page.
Kiva For Borrowers
If you’re a U.S-based entrepreneur, you could be eligible for raising funds on Kiva for your project.
It’s a four-step process:
- Apply: find out if you’re pre-qualified, then fill out an easy online application
- Invite: Prove your credit-worthiness by inviting friends and family to lend you to
- Fundraise: Take your project to the public, making git visible to almost 2 million lenders worldwide
- Repay: Once you gather loans, all that’s left to do is pay them back! If you’re reliable, you’ll have lenders returning to you again and again.
Keep in mind that in order to receive a loan, you’ll have to meet some minimum qualifications:
- Be 18 years or older
- Living in the U.S
- You must use the loan for business purposes
It’s also important to note that you won’t be able to bring your project to the public until you’ve demonstrated social capital by getting friends and family to lend to you. So reach out to your most trusted contacts, and ask them for their support!
Once approved, you’ll have a 10-15 day window to raise support from your own network.
Following that interval, you’ll have 30 days to publicly raise funds with Kiva’s wider network of lenders.
Final Thoughts on Kiva
Kiva is a great way for both entrepreneurs and lenders to participate in a global community of those dedicated to bringing dreams to life.
For more in-depth information as to how Kiva works in the U.S specifically, visit this article.
I also encourage that you check out my podcast interview with a Kiva expert here — you’ll gain tons of incredible insight.
I hope that this article has been helpful for you!
Here’s to keeping the entrepreneurial dream alive for all creators, no matter how big or small a loan!
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