PayPal and Kiva empower entrepreneurs around the world.

Aug 31 2018 | PayPal editorial staff

Kiva, the microlending nonprofit, was founded in 2005 on a simple premise: What if people could invest in small businesses around the globe as easily as they buy products online?
The Kiva platform answered this question with easy tools to connect small-business people around the world with people willing to loan money. In April 2005, Kiva’s first 7 loans for entrepreneurs were funded; 6 months later, all the loans had been repaid.
Today, the Kiva microlending platform has facilitated $1.17 billion in loans in $25 increments to 2.8 million borrowers in more than 86 countries. These small amounts can make enormous differences to entrepreneurs who need something as basic as a sewing machine or a goat to generate income. Once Kiva’s lenders fund a loan, more than 90% recycle the funds to make another loan.
“From providing women with financial security for their families and communities, to giving farmers financial flexibility for unpredictable growing seasons, Kiva has facilitated unprecedented levels of entrepreneurship,” says Chelsa Bocci, Kiva’s vice president of marketing and community. “The ripple effects are so inspiring – when women access fair credit, they gain decision-making power in their homes and communities. Farmers can invest in equipment to increase yields, or they can access flexible credit that allows them to repay at harvest.”

PayPal helps Kiva stay true to its mission.

From its very first loans, Kiva has used PayPal as its exclusive online payments processor – helping to unlock funding for entrepreneurs who wouldn’t otherwise have access to affordable capital. Kiva’s relationship with PayPal started even before the nonprofit’s launch. Premal Shah, Kiva’s cofounder and president, was a product manager at PayPal when the concept for Kiva began percolating. Working with Bocci and Kiva’s other cofounders, Shah helped foster PayPal’s commitment to the fledgling organization: to process every loan made through Kiva without charging any transaction fees.
“People want to know their money is being used efficiently and going to the cause they believe in,” Bocci says. “PayPal’s continued support allows us to send every dollar lent on Kiva to the field, which is a big deal. More people have been able to follow their dreams because of our PayPal partnership.”
During PayPal’s 2016 and 2017 Kiva lending campaigns, more than 20,000 PayPal customers and employees made nearly $1.5 million in loans.** Over 60% were first-time lenders, who will eventually contribute $7.7 million in loans during their lifetime on Kiva.** During the 2016 campaign, PayPal offered participants an additional $25 credit so they could make a second loan.
PayPal has served as Kiva’s payments partner from its early days through a belief that everyone should be able to participate and thrive in global and local economies. With help from PayPal, Kiva can build a more inclusive global economy, reaching women, minority communities, and families in developing countries.
“I’ve made several loans through Kiva,” says Sean Milliken, PayPal’s head of global social innovation. “So many of the entrepreneurs’ business backgrounds compel Kiva users to make a difference – whether it’s the entrepreneurs’ own personal stories, or the visions they have for their businesses.” 

Creating successful businesses worldwide. 

As Kiva helps entrepreneurs build their businesses, success stories abound. Bocci recently visited several borrowers in Colombia, including a man who used his Kiva loan to buy a woodworking machine to make toys for children. “During our visit, he made us gifts on the machine to show his gratitude for Kiva and its community of lenders,” Bocci recalls. “His work ethic and commitment to providing for his family was an inspiration. It’s stories like these that remind me of all the good that we do every day.”

About PayPal for Nonprofits. 

More than 600,000 charities, nonprofits, schools, political campaigns, and crowdfunders around the world trust PayPal to help them fundraise billions of dollars every year. PayPal can help your nonprofit with in-person and online fundraising – through the PayPal Donate Button and solutions for mobile donations, event fundraising, and more. PayPal offers special discounts for charities and universities.


The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

* Based on the nonprofit’s internal data.
** PayPal internal data 2018.

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