Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. Using the world’s first micro-lending website, Kiva democratizes philanthropy, allowing the average individual to feel like a mini-Bill Gates by building a portfolio of investments in developing world businesses. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.
Kiva partners with microfinance institutions that approve loan applications from low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world. The loans are then posted to the Kiva website for funding. Internet users choose an entrepreneur they would like to lend to, and select the amount they would like to contribute to the loan. The lender is updated with the progress of the loan and when the loan has been repaid, the lenders receive their loan amount credited to their Kiva account, which they can then withdraw or re-loan to another entrepreneur.
On average, it takes 55.3 hours to fully fund a loan to an entrepreneur featured on Kiva. As of Spring 2008, there has been $732,3000 lent and 1,846 entrepreneurs funded and 666 loans completely repaid. Kiva will have facilitated loans totaling $100 million by 2010.