Kiva; Crowdfunding Hope Across the Globe
Kiva has always been one of our favorite social enterprises because it supports the ingenuity of small-scale entrepreneurs in countries where the poor have little or no access to capital. It was founded in San Francisco in 2005 and since then has lent more than 1 billion dollars to farmers, artisans and merchants.
How it works: Individuals in the developed world invest small sums [as little as $25.00] into Kiva's revolving loan fund. Kiva bundles this investment capital from more than a million participants to fund the pre-screened business plans of potential borrowers. The money is provided as a loan that the borrower must pay back. Once repaid the lenders can use repayments to help fund new loans or withdraw the money. And, through the end of 2017, Kiva has a 96.9% repayment rate, better than many American banks.
Thus far, Kiva has assisted more than 2.6 million entrepreneurs in 86 countries. You can read more about the impact of their work here.
Two more reasons that we support this organization: Kiva has "Charity Navigator's highest rating and they use every cent invested to fund projects. Their overhead costs are paid for by a separate donation fund.