Kiva, the crowdsourced micro-lending platform, is going bigger to help refugees gain access to larger amounts of capital by launching the Kiva Refugee Investment Fund.

Since 2016, Kiva has provided local micro-finance institutions, also called field partners, with capital at zero interest, helping more than 15,000 refugees around the world gain financing. 

Refugee borrowers financed by Kiva showed strong repayment rates of 95.5%, similar to the  96.8% repayment rate of the average global borrower, according to the non-profit group’s second annual Refugee Impact Report released this month. 

Now, the Kiva Refugee Investment Fund aims to pump more funds into Field Partner assets to help scale their lending efforts and to support the more than 68 million refugees forcibly displaced worldwide.

The fund  has a goal of $30 million to serve 200,000 borrowers, targeting impact-first returns for investors.  

Since its beginning, Kiva has provided almost  16,000 refugees with $13 million through its crowdfunding site, Kiva.org. 

  • Refugee-focused projects are springing up all over on a national and international scale. These include Israel’s Rewire, Mexico City-based Hola Code, and India’s Destiny Reflection
  • The Refugee Investment Network lists at least 30 refugee-investment networks that connect investors and refugee entrepreneurs to stimulate funds to refugees, along the lines of Kiva.
  • Karma Take: While some politicians demonize refugees, all over the world refugee-focused networks indicate there is growing investor interest in solutions for refugees fleeing conflict zone or those forcibly displaced from their homes.