I learned about Kiva years ago after reading the life-changing book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. This book could not have been more timely in my life as after reading it, I immediately began investing in women at Kiva and also using my voice as a blogger and social good advocate to help improve the lives of women and girls.
Kiva is an international nonprofit founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. What I love about Kiva is the brilliant concept of using small micro loans to empower people in the developing world to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. These are normally people who do not have access to traditional bank accounts and Kiva’s micro loans provide the missing link that they need to succeed. Kiva’s loans not only improve but change thousands of lives and what a greater gift than providing opportunity and empowerment, especially to women.
In honor of International Women’s Day this Wednesday, March 8th, Kiva has launched an exciting campaign called “Be Bold for Change, Invest in Her”. The ambitious goal is to crowd fund $3 million in loads for thousands of women from March 1-8. Kiva is offering 10,000 new visitors the chance to lend the equivalent of $25 on Kiva for free as part of the campaign. You can choose which woman you want to support – a woman starting or growing a business, going to school, accessing clean energy or investing in her community.
Individual loans of $25 are collected until that woman’s loan request is fully “crowdfunded.” It doesn’t cost new visitors a thing and they can be part of achieving the campaign’s overall $3 million goal alongside Kiva’s 1.6 million individual lenders. Furthermore, 100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors.
How do you join the cause?
Go to www.Kiva.org/InvestInHer and choose which woman you want to support and small loans of $25 are collected until the borrower’s loan request is fully crowdfunded.
You can search by country or by what kind of entrepreneur you would like to support whether it be a women in the area of education, agriculture, health or a small business. You can read her story and learn exactly what your loan will support. Then as time goes by, you receive payments back and can reinvest your money once again in the project of your choice. It is a beautiful, empowering concept that will lift thousands of women out of poverty.
Think of it like a Kickstarter campaign — a really big Kickstarter campaign — that will change thousands of women’s lives.
With all the headlines, it’s hard to know how any one of us can make a difference. But there is a real and important way people can support women… right now.
When we invest in women, we invest in families (women reinvest 80% of their income in the well-being and education of their families!), poverty and hunger are reduced, and cycles of war and extremism are broken.
Success stories of some of the women Kiva has helped:
Kiva.org is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. By lending as little as $25, anyone can help a borrower realize their potential. Founded in 2005, Kiva and its growing global community of 1.6 million lenders have crowdfunded nearly $950 million in microloans to 2.6 million entrepreneurs in 80+ countries, with a 97% repayment rate.