Update on Kiva

6617.jpgSix months ago, I started my Kiva portfolio and it’s been fun to watch. I made 4 micro-loans and the first (an auto repair shop in Brinza, Moldova) was just repaid in full. Twenty-three (hmm) lenders participated in this and helped this hard working and honest looking gentleman’s business get to another level.

The other three loans have all been partially repaid on schedule, and it looks like they’ll be paid in full as promised. Kiva is really helping and has now managed over six million bucks in microloans. Imagine the impact of that at no cost to you.

If I had one tiny complaint, it’s that there are never any blog updates about how the loan has helped the business. They have the infrastructure to do this, but the blog area for the loan never says much more beyond the fact that the loan was distributed. It would be neat to get some stories of how it helped or perhaps a photo in return.

Here’s what’s so cool about fast companies. I dropped an email to them and within about 5 minutes I was on the phone with Fiona, their communications manager. She explained to me that Kiva really wants to help facilitate better feedback and reports from the field, but they’re just not quite there yet. Right now there are more lenders than there are businesses to fund. But as Kiva grows and as the partners begin to see some competition for lenders, Kiva thinks the lenders will select the partners who share more stories of the social good created by their loans. Thanks Fiona!

Go check out Kiva and consider getting involved.

file under: Blog, Startups