Kiva is a non-profit, based in San Francisco, that enables
individual lenders to crowd-fund person-to-person loans to
individual borrowers around the world.
Kiva made its first loan in Uganda in 2005, and has since made
over one million loans in 75 countries.
Welcome to Kiva
In 2011, Kiva launched Kiva Zip which aims to expand financial
access to financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs
in the United States. We have three principle objectives:
Improving Access to Capital
would not qualify
to lower financial
local and global
have a positive
Small businesses create
jobs in the
2 out of 3
small businesses hired just
one additional employee
1 in 3
Full employment achieved ifEvery day
small business loan applications
are rejected by banks
Access to capital
constraint to growth reported
by U.S. small businesses
What’s the problem? Job creators are constrained
• Traditional banks
of their credit
score, years in
flows, or collateral.
• Kiva Zip doesn’t
• Trustees help us find
could benefit from
the Kiva Zip program.
By vouching for an
and social impact you
are backing their
A new paradigm – social underwriting
Kiva Zip aims to change the way lending is approached in the
United States. We believe in a different lens by which
entrepreneurs are deemed “credit worthy”. We believe that an
entrepreneur’s character and network of support and
relationships are just as viable as traditional financial metrics.
Trustees are able to partner with Kiva Zip and recommend specific small business
owners that they feel could benefit from Kiva Zip.
It is the responsibility of Trustees to:
1) Find eligible borrowers for a Kiva Zip loan
2) Publicly endorse them on the Kiva Zip website
3) And provide ongoing support throughout the loan term
In your assessment of an entrepreneur’s fit with Zip, we ask that you evaluate their:
Character: Is the borrower a good person? Do you deeply trust that they are the
kind of person who will commit to repaying their loan?
Business: Do they have a viable business or business plan? Do you know what they
will use the loan for and how it will impact their business?
Social Impact: Will this loan have a positive impact on the life of this entrepreneur?
Is this business making a positive impact in your community?
Trustees have no financial or legal liability whatsoever for Kiva Zip loans.
Community Development Corporations
Economic Development Corporations
Small Business Development Centers
Student Groups and Professors
Other Local Small Businesses
We have over 250 trustees on Kiva Zip
Help fund entrepreneurs you believe in
After completing your application you'll be able to endorse
entrepreneurs for interest-free loans.
Showcase your impact
We'll provide you with a profile highlighting the small
businesses that you've supported.
Spread awareness of your work
With over a million lenders, Kiva is one of the most heavily
visited non-profit websites.
Increase the economic vitality of your community
Small businesses are the backbone of all communities. Seize
the chance to support yours.
What’s in it for you?
Small size – first loans up to $5k;
subsequent loans up to $25k
Up to 24 months term
Grace periods available for
Regular weekly or monthly
electronically via Paypal
Posted & ‘crowdfunded’ online
What Kiva Zip loans look like
Pay for legal fees
Hire staff and help
Upgrade their websites
Improve their technology
Market and advertise
Invest in equipment
Expand product lines
Our borrowers are using Kiva Zip to…
Kiva has a network of
over 1 million lenders.
When a borrower
fundraises, they have
exposure to thousands of
brand ambassadors, and
Watching hundreds of
lenders around the world
read your story, look up
your business, and invest
is very encouraging and
builds confidence. We
believe this is essential to
The power of crowdfunding
“Jerry, let us know where we can buy
some of your Tuna jerky!” - Daniel
“Farming is no easy task and what you
two are doing with your team is
inspiring to all of us who are
beneficiaries of your labor.” - Nick
“G'day from Australia! You sound like
you are on your path and doing good
things. I hope your business is going
really well! What is the web address
to buy online please? Do you post to
Oz?” - Monique
“Thank you for believing in me and my
dream. TopShelf now has 4 employees,
without your help it would have been
tough to reach this goal.” - Christina
“Did you know that your support helps me
to hire 5 more people for this project? We
are hiring! Please, spread the news! Thank
you so much! Seriously!” - Anna
“You have helped make an almost
impossible dream come true.....My heart is
warmed and very happy....Be blessed and
prosperous always” - June
…and borrowers can engage
directly with their lenders
Lenders can communicate directly
with the borrowers they invest in…
Communication on Kiva Zip
14A Two Step Process
1) Create a Trustee Profile
This is where you will promote the
work you do and provide information
about your organization.
2) Endorse a Borrower
An endorsement is four questions
about your relationship with the
borrower you’re recommending.
Please join us!
To learn more about the specifics of the Trustee
partnership please check out our Trustee Training Manual.
To speak with a Kiva Zip representative please email us at