Innovation That Matters

Kiva update: Matching program doubles loans

Nonprofit & Social Cause

Longtime Springwise readers may remember Kiva, the venture we wrote about back in 2006 that facilitates charitable microloans to entrepreneurs in the developing world. Now the organization has found a way to make loans go even further through a partnership with credit card issuer Advanta. Earlier this month Advanta and Kiva announced the KivaB4B Project, an initiative through which Advanta will match the loans made by holders of its business credit card with up to USD 200 per month per card. Card holders simply select a business owner to sponsor through Kiva and make a grant using their Advanta BusinessCard. Advanta matches that grant, dollar for dollar, and Kiva distributes the total resulting funds. As the funds are repaid, they get deposited back into the card holder’s Kiva account, while the match funds go back to Advanta. In the meantime, donors get materials to publicize their support, such as a KivaB4B button to put on their website, stickers for their storefront and postcards to send to customers. Started in 1951 with USD 30 in seed money, Advanta is now one of the largest credit card issuers in the US small business market. Ami Kassar, Advanta’s Chief Innovation Officer, explains: “In our years of working with small business owners, we’ve found that many of them remember the moment someone gave them inspiration, some good advice, or a little cash to get things going. Now, through KivaB4B, American small business owners can offer that same ray of hope to entrepreneurs in developing countries.” San Francisco-based Kiva has already opened a whole new world of opportunity to entrepreneurs in developing countries—it’s facilitated more than USD 27 million in loans since its inception in 2005. With the power of a major bank behind it—and a little cause-related marketing incentive for donors—there’s no telling how far its effects might go. Spotted by: Susanna Haynie



Download PDF