We have been working with Kiva.org’s leadership team in Kenya for more that 4 years, and we are excited that Gnu Foundation has been designated by Kiva.org as a “Trustee” for Kenya as part of their Kiva Zip program. Kiva, a US-based 501(c)3 non-governmental organization, partners with microfinance institutions (e.g. Faulu Kenya, Kadet, KREP, SMEP etc.) around the world to provide loans to the working poor. To date, Kiva’s web-based lending community has raised over $300 million USD for entrepreneurs in over 60 countries.
Within the Kiva Zip program in Kenya, Gnu Foundation nominates local entrepreneurs to participate in the microloan program – Gnu acts as a ‘guarantor’ to the individuals selected, and Kiva provides the loan funding and administration with no interest or fee to the borrowers. This program enables Gnu to leverage funds we have provided our local Gnu Partners by ‘graduating’ our successful borrowers to Kiva where they can receive larger loans and longer term funding, thereby releasing funds to help more vulnerable and risky participants to enter our program. This partnership provides a meaningful transition to broader/deeper financial resources for many families that would not have had access to such resources without our initial support.
Like Gnu Foundation, Kiva Zip’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.
We are actively piloting the Kiva program with our Gnu Partner Furaha Community Foundation, to date we have successfully sponsored over 180 microloans through this program.
Additional information on the global Kiva.zip trustee program can be found at Kiva.org/zip.