Micro-loans and Kiva.org

After being featured on Oprah, the Today Show and in Bill Clinton’s book, Giving, Kiva.org was overwhelmed by the volume of offers from Americans wishing to make direct micro-loans to small entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Kiva depends on its NGO field partners to identify and support borrowers so is actively seeking new field partners to produce more loan applications to harness the generosity of potential donors.

As of early February, all but one of Kiva’s partners in Bolivia and Peru were 5-star risk-rated, with no loan defaults, based on 5-10 months loan activity. They are:

Pro Mujer/Bolivia, $1182,250.
Fundación AgroCapital, $65,400.
IMPRO, $226,900.

FINCA Peru, $254,950.
Microfinanzas PRISMA, $501,000.
Manuela Ramos/CrediMUJER, $308,300.
EDAPROSPO, $35,350. (A new entrant, in its first month in the program.)

An innovative Kiva feature is the Fellows program which sends volunteers to work abroad for a minimum 10 weeks as microfinance workers, working with the NGO partners to interview 15 loan borrowers per week. The Fellow pays all expenses. The goal is that the Fellows will better understand Kiva's model and presumably become more motivated donors.