Kiva, a US-based online microlending fundraiser, has partnered with Silatech, a Qatar-based social enterprise serving youth in the Middle East, to create Kiva Arab Youth, an online platform allowing individuals to makes loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the region that then on-lend the funds to aid young Arab entrepreneurs. Since March 2012, Kiva Arab Youth has financed approximately 1,400 businesses through loans valued at roughly USD 1.7 million. It is reported that about 38,000 individual lenders have lent as little as USD 25 to fund young entrepreneurs in Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon. Individual lenders only receive their principal back if the loan is repaid and no interest accrues to the individual lender. Justin Sykes, Silatech’s Director of Microenterprise, reportedly stated that average loans to projects in the Arab region are around USD 1,500. Silatech has offered to match loans totaling up to USD 250,000 to further encourage participation.
Kiva, a nonprofit microlending platform based in San Francisco, reports total assets of USD 13.7 million and intermediates loans to approximately 892,552 borrowers worldwide as of 2011. Kiva also reports about 839,150 individual lenders, a network of 167 field partner microfinance institutions (MFIs) and a 98-percent repayment rate.
Founded in 2008, Qatar-based social enterprise Silatech aims to diminish youth unemployment in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Financial information on the institution is not available.
By Sarah Benali, Research Associate
About Kiva Incorporated in 2005, Kiva is a US-based online portal allowing individuals to make loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs), which then make loans to people with low incomes. In 2011, approximately USD 90 million in loans was funded through Kiva and Kiva’s field partner MFIs in 60 developing and rich countries. As of 2011, Kiva reports total assets of USD 13.7 million. As of 2012, Kiva is launching a new platform, Kiva Zip, enabling users to lend directly to microentrepreneurs around the world.
Founded in 2008, Silatech is a Qatar-based social enterprise aiming to increase jobs and entrepreneurship to reduce youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa. Silatech operates in Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. Financial information on the institution is not available.
Sources and Additional Resources
Kiva Press Release: “’Kiva Arab Youth’ Spurs Lending of Over US$ 1 Million to Young Entrepreneurs in the Arab World,” http://www.kiva.org/press/releases/release_20120820-0
Silatech Press Release: “Kiva Arab Youth Finances 1,400 Arab Businesses,” October 2012, http://www.silatech.com/home/news-events/silatech-news/silatech-news-details/2012/10/03/kiva-arab-youth-finances-1-400-arab-businesses
Wambda.com Story: “Kiva, Silatech Launch Microsite for Micro Lending in the Arab World,” by Glen Dalakian, October 2012, http://www.wamda.com/2012/10/kiva-silatech-launch-microsite-for-micro-lending-in-the-arab-world
MicroCapital.org Story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Quatar’sSilatech, Al Barid Bank Launch Youth Savings Account,” June 4, 2012, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-moroccos-silatech-al-barid-bank-launch-youth-savings-account/
MicroCapital.org Story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kiva Boosts Funding Raised for Microfinance Loans by $18m to $89m in 2011,” May 21, 2012, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-kiva-boosts-funding-raised-for-microfinance-loans-loans-by-18m-to-89m-in-2011/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Kiva http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Kiva
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Silatech http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Silatech
Do you know that MicroCapital publishes the MicroCapital Monitor newspaper each month? Find out more at http://www.microcapital.org/products-page/