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OPIC Loan to Kiva Supports Almost 100,000 Microloans to Developing Country Borrowers


photo woman hands another one a tray of food, OPIC , Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Kiva, microloan, women
An OPIC-supported Kiva loan helped this mother of four in Honduras purchase ingredients for her food business.

SAN FRANCISCO - The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) announced Thursday at the Social Capital Markets conference that its financing to Kiva Microfunds has supported 98,137 microloans to 207,227 small business borrowers, across 30 countries. The majority of the borrowers – 81 percent – were women. This financing is helping alleviate poverty by enabling borrowers to start and grow their farms and businesses, access energy and educate their families.

OPIC in 2017 provided a $10 million loan to Kiva, to help the San Francisco nonprofit extend its impact and provide loans that otherwise would not have been fully funded. Skoll Foundation provided crucial philanthropic capital to the project.

Kiva was established as a platform to connect individuals lending as little as $25 with low-income entrepreneurs and students around the world who provide a description of their ventures and specify loan amounts needed. Almost one million Americans have participated so far by providing loans to entrepreneurs featured on the Kiva platform.

“OPIC’s partnership with Kiva aligns closely with our mission to advance development goals in emerging markets, and with our 2X Women’s initiative,” said David Bohigian, OPIC Executive Vice President. “The success of this partnership illustrates the significant impact that can be achieved when different forms of capital are blended together.”

Kiva works with over 300 microfinance and social enterprise Field Partners who conduct due diligence on all borrowers. Because Kiva’s borrowers have an average 97 percent repayment rate, and amounts repaid to the OPIC matching loan fund are automatically lent out again, OPIC’s $10 million loan has to date deployed $26.4 million of funds to individual borrowers.

"Kiva and OPIC are both committed to improving lives. Kiva’s partnership with OPIC has helped us establish a new model for addressing poverty and empowering individuals around the world,” said Premal Shah, Kiva’s President & Co-Founder. “The effectiveness of the partnership illustrates that institutional development finance can mobilize more resources toward the challenges our platform addresses."

“We saw a great opportunity to work with two trusted partners to test this innovative model for Kiva,” said Skoll Foundation Principal Tim Carlberg. “A strategic injection of grant capital from Skoll allowed Kiva to attract institutional investment and to build on their expertise in direct loan delivery to micro and small entrepreneurs.”

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About OPIC
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.

OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.

About Kiva
Kiva is a nonprofit focused on expanding financial access for underserved people around the world. Since 2005, Kiva’s global community of 1.7 million lenders has crowdfunded more than $1.2 billion in micro-loans to 3 million borrowers in more than 80 countries. On Kiva’s lending platform, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school and realize their potential. Kiva also works to address the systemic issues that keep communities from accessing the financial services they need.

About the Skoll Foundation
Jeff Skoll created the Skoll Foundation in 1999 to pursue his vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. The Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. Social entrepreneurs are society’s change agents, creators of innovations that disrupt the status quo and transform our world for the better. By investing, connecting, and amplifying the people and programs already bringing positive change around the world, we help them to extend their reach, deepen their impact, and fundamentally improve society.