MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kiva, The MasterCard Foundation Announce 5-Year, $7.9m Project to Promote Financial Inclusion in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa

Kiva, a US-based, nonprofit crowdfunding platform for microfinance institutions (MFIs), and The MasterCard Foundation, a Canadian organization founded by the US-based payments firm MasterCard Worldwide, recently announced a five-year, USD 7.9 million project to develop loan products and other financial services specific to the needs of smallholder farmers and others living in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. Through its Kiva Labs platform, Kiva will use the USD 7.9 million donation to: (1) launch and scale new products and services such as loans with flexible repayment schedules and loans “financing undercapitalized ‘would be’ innovators”; (2) enhance the capacity of social enterprises to provide these services to its end-users; and (3) evaluate project outcomes and disseminate results to other financial inclusion stakeholders.

From 2005 to 2016, 1.5 million lenders have used Kiva’s website to loan USD 900 million to 2.1 million entrepreneurs via MFIs in 86 countries. As of 2015, The MasterCard Foundation reported approximately USD 9 billion in assets.

By Michelle Dold, Research Associate

About Kiva

Kiva is a US-based, nonprofit online portal that was established in the US city of San Francisco in 2005. It allows individuals to make loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs) to backfill loans that the MFIs have made to low-income borrowers. In 2012, Kiva launched its “Kiva Labs” platform to experiment with new loan products “designed to encourage innovation in the microcredit and social enterprise sectors.” From 2005 to 2016, 1.5 million lenders have used Kiva’s website to loan USD 900 million to 2.1 million entrepreneurs via MFIs in 86 countries.

About The MasterCard Foundation

Based in Canada, The MasterCard Foundation seeks to enable people living in poverty to improve their lives with increased access to financial products and services and education, primarily in Africa. The foundation was established in 2006 by a gift of shares from US-based payment processor MasterCard Worldwide during that company’s initial public offering. As of 2015, The MasterCard Foundation reported approximately USD 9 billion in assets.

Sources and Additional Information:

[1] The MasterCard Foundation Press Release: “Kiva and The MasterCard Foundation Announce Five-Year Project to Expand Financial Access Among African Smallholder Farmers and Rural Populations”

[2] MicroCapital Universe Profile: Kiva

[3] MicroCapital Universe Profile: The MasterCard Foundation

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