What Makes Kiva Stand Apart?

Kiva pic
Kiva
Image: kiva.org

A successful investor and hotel regeneration expert who purchases and reinvigorates underperforming hotels as part of his work with Pinnacle Hotels USA, a company he founded in 1998, Bharat Lall brings 20-plus years of hospitality-industry experience to the profession. Also a philanthropist, Bharat Lall supports Kiva, which offers loans to budding entrepreneurs to help them realize their potential.

One of the earliest adopters of crowdfunding technology, which websites like Kickstarter have gone on to make famous, Kiva provides a platform that brings together entrepreneurs and lenders. Entrepreneurs are able to obtain funding from hundreds of small lenders via the platform, while the lenders have the opportunity to invest in projects they really believe in.

This model lowers the fees borrowers often have to contend with when trying to launch projects, while increasing the likelihood of lenders receiving their loans back in full so the same money can be used to help others, either in local communities or locales across the world.

Thus far, the organization, which takes nothing from the funds offered by lenders, has distributed close to $1 billion in loans to borrowers in over 80 countries. Further, the platform has a loan repayment rate of over 97 percent.

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Kiva Makes Small, Manageable Loans throughout the World

Kiva pic
Kiva
Image: kiva.org

As the head of Pinnacle Hotels USA, Bharat Lall, MD, is dedicated to providing excellent customer service at his accommodations. Dr. Bharat Lall donates to several charitable causes, including the Kiva nonprofit lending service.

Founded in 2005, Kiva uses the crowdfunding principle to arrange affordable loans for people in some 88 countries. Intended to lift people out of poverty, Kiva has lent to over 2 million borrowers to help them start businesses, pay for education, or set up clean energy sources.

Getting a loan is straightforward. Borrowers apply either on their own or through Kiva field partners–local nonprofits or micro-lenders who visit prospective recipients and administer loans. The application goes through a due diligence process in which community members and field partners vet the borrower.

Approved loans are translated and listed online, where interested lenders anywhere in the world can provide funds in amounts of $25 or more. Over the years, borrowers have repaid some 97 percent of their obligations.

Neither lenders nor borrowers receive or pay interest. Field partners are allowed to charge a small fee for their administrative costs. Loan disbursals take place through the field partner or through PayPal.