Elevating innovations in international underserved markets

Kiva’s Lending Partners Lab incubates and scales non-traditional lending partner organizations. We utilize Kiva.org’s below-market, patient capital to de-risk and prove viable early-stage social business models.

Kiva’s Lending Partners Lab provides capital and capacity building support to develop, expand, and replicate evidence-based, outcomes-first solutions in international underserved markets. We prioritize working with non-traditional lending partners such as social enterprises, NGOs, and academic institutions to scale and ultimately join the Kiva Lending Partners network.

These partners elevate unique financing opportunities within the critical sectors of agriculture, health, education, access to clean energy, artisan livelihoods, and water and sanitation.

Lending Partners Spotlight

Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED)

Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) is an organization that embodies a multi-faceted approach to empowering women. While CAMFED was established in 1993 to help girls get access to education, in 1998 they created their alumnae network, CAMA, to connect young women who had been supported by CAMFED to complete secondary school. CAMA is a network of support for current and future CAMFED beneficiaries. In addition to peer support, CAMA members can access training, technology, business loans, and mentoring support as they leave secondary school, when they are at high risk to marry young or leave their rural communities for jobs in towns and cities.

Part of CAMA members’ development as cornerstones within their communities is their creation and operation of small businesses.  CAMFED partners with Kiva to offer CAMA members 0% interest loans to establish and grow these enterprises; women who receive Kiva CAMFED loans receive both capital and business training to help them do so. In exchange, borrowers repay lenders using profits from their businesses. The CAMA lending program successfully empowers young women to break the cycle of poverty in their communities, and makes women in CAMFED’s broader network of beneficiaries more self-reliant and successful. The 0% interest microloans from Kiva are a large part of CAMA’s sustainability, as they enable CAMFED to recognize and reward participation in vital community work. Kiva currently works with CAMFED in five countries, Malwai, Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. So far Kiva has funded $3 million in loans to more than 7,600 women through their partnership with CAMFED.

iDE Cambodia

iDE is an innovative international non-profit and Kiva’s partnership with their organization in Cambodia has enabled them to scale two impactful loan products. The first is a micro-franchise model for delivering high-quality agricultural inputs and technical advice to poor farmers through private Farm Business Advisors (FBAs). These FBA’s are independent micro-entrepreneurs trained by iDE to encourage and equip farmers to grow market-oriented crops. FBAs analyze individual farm enterprises to identify opportunities, which are matched with products and services in the FBA toolkit.

The toolkit includes a range of products and advice for farmers. Since introducing the Farm Business Advisor model in 2005, the network has grown to include about 130 FBAs that serve more than 14,000 farm households.

The other loan product that iDE offers enable rural households to purchase Hydrologic ceramic water filters. This loan product enables households to buy a ceramic water filter that will improve the health of rural households by providing sustained access to safe drinking water.

Ejido Verde

Ejido Verde began as a pilot partner under the Lending Partners Lab and after 14 months graduated to become an official Kiva Lending Partners Lab Ejido Verde sets the example for how Lending Network Lab can help innovative partners grow and scale successfully. Ejido Verde Reserves (EVR) is a nonprofit organization that is run by leaders of the Mexican pine-chemicals industry in partnership with Indigenous communities. It operates in the states of Michoacan and Jalisco, Mexico

The organization is working to establish productive native resin pine plantations on Indigenous lands with the goal of improving Indigenous livelihoods, reforesting idle lands and increasing domestic production of pine resin.

Recipients of Kiva and EVR loans are currently earning income from tapping their native forests, which have average tree densities of around 50 trees/hectare.

With support from EVR and Kiva, these communities are able to cultivate plantations of 800 trees/hectare, drastically increasing the number of trees from which to sustainably extract resin, decreasing travel time between trees in order to tap, and increasing incomes by over 500% over the course of one to two decades.

Kiva loans of 0% interest are used to establish pine plantations in communities that are already working with EVR, and EVR will not charge any interest either on this capital. Each loan will be for 15 years, with repayments equal to 10% of resin sales due back to Kiva lenders annually at the time of each sale. With Kiva’s support, EVR will continue to be able to improve the livelihoods of many Indigenous communities.

Learn more about Kiva’s Lending Partners Lab