Skoll Foundation



Skoll Entrepreneur(s): Matt Flannery and Premal Shah
Award Year: 2008
Focus Area(s) Addressed: Education and Economic Opportunity

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Kiva began after a trip to East Africa sparked an idea in the minds of Matt Flannery and his wife Jessica to help the poor start their own businesses. Their personal interest grew into something larger that eventually found a home on the Internet. About the same time, Premal Shah of PayPal was similarly inspired while consulting in microfinance. After posting a small loan application on eBay, Premal became an early pioneer of Internet microfinance. Premal and Matt connected over the concept of Internet microfinance and have together built Kiva’s innovative approach. In June 2014, Matt Flannery stepped down as CEO, but remains on the Board of Directors.


  • Kiva’s unique online micro-lending marketplace is a true social business which provides a service for philanthopic individuals looking to create the greatest impact with their philanthropy earmarked funds. Lenders choose to make an optional donation to Kiva for facilitating their loan to an entrepreneur, creating a sustainable business model for Kiva.
  • The social impact is two-fold: entrepreneurs receive start-up or expansion capital which gives them an opportunity to create a business to lift themselves out of poverty, while the microfinance institutions Kiva partners with gain access to a new source of cheap, soft debt capital.
  • Total amount lent through Kiva: $572 million
  • Kiva Users: 1,760,000
  • Kiva Users who have funded a loan: more than 1,187,000
  • Borrowers funded through Kiva: 1,330,000
  • Number of loans made through Kiva: 721,033
  • Kiva Field Partners (microfinance institutions): 255
  • Countries where Kiva Field Partners are located: 75
  • Repayment rate: 99.03%
  • Average loan size: $402.22
  • Average loans made per Kiva lender: 9.18
In Africa alone:
  • Kiva has fully funded ~ $106.6m in loans in Africa
  • Footprint in 24 African countries, through 50 Field Partners
  • Those loans have gone to 340,820 borrowers
  • They have been active in some post-conflict countries like  Sudan, Congo, Mali, and Burundi.



© 2015 Skoll Foundation.