Kiva, the social microlending site that connects first-worlders with entrepreneurs in developing countries, just released its first annual report. Good news for the microlending economy: Kiva users loaned $89,481,825 in micropayments to the enterprising and the needy from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Pakistan, which represents a 20 percent increase over last year. Kiva also started providing loans within the U.S. and has supported hurricane survivors in New Orleans.
The six-year-old site had its first redesign in 2011, which was “a year of milestones, meaningful firsts, and inspiring achievements as we connected more people to alleviate poverty,” CEO and cofounder Matt Flannery wrote in a letter to users.
Kiva sets up a profile page for an entrepreneur or group of entrepreneurs, with a photo and a description of the borrowers and what they plan to do with the money. Users in rich countries–Brussels is the top lending city, followed by New York–can then browse the open loan requests and decide who they want to support. Lenders can pledge as little as $25. The loan can come from multiple lenders and is disbursed when the target amount has been pledged.
Kiva has loaned a total of $313,087,400 since its inception in 2005, which came from 764,507 lenders and was disbursed to 782,167 borrowers. The average loan repayment rate is an astonishing 98.94 percent. Kiva is rated a four-star charity on Charity Navigator, which examines the fiscal efficiency of nonprofits, and is one of Oprah’s favorite things.