Manulife will give $500,000 to help Kiva build capacity and reach more borrowers in the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia. The remainder will go directly into funding loans, including through the creation of the Manulife Match Fund, which will double individual contributions made through the Kiva platform to help borrowers meet their goals faster.
The initiative advances Manulife’s Impact Agenda, one of whose pillars is to support inclusive economic opportunity globally. Manulife shares Kiva’s belief that, at the core of every global issue is people trying to build a better future, and that the solution to the world’s most pressing challenges lies in investing in them. Given this, and our growing presence in Asia, the partnership with Kiva makes perfect sense.
“There’s power in collective impact, where individuals from around the world can pool together resources to support entrepreneurs in other parts of the world,” said Tom Crohan, Manulife’s Global Head of Community Investment.
Making lives better
Roeurm is a Cambodian farmer with big dreams. The 59-year-old mother of two and wife wants to grow her business and fix up her home. Her more immediate need to achieve these goals: purchase more seeds and fertilizer to keep her farm going.
To fund this, she turned to local lender Chamroeun Microfinance for a US$1,450 loan. Chamroeun, in turn, went to its partner Kiva, which enables individuals around the world to lend as little as US$25 to specific borrowers -- like Roeurm – they choose personally through Kiva’s platform.
Kiva’s unique focus on crowdfunding loans, rather than donations, gives entrepreneurs agency by empowering them to repay their debt when they meet their goals. And the repaid money can then be lent to someone else, magnifying its impact. Most of Kiva’s two million-plus lenders have contributed less than $100, but these loans have a multiplier effect of three times.
Kiva also offers credits that can be awarded to others to make loans. “This feature gives us a meaningful avenue for customer and agent engagement campaigns, enabling us to invite others in our network to join us in driving impact in their local communities or beyond,” Crohan said.
Gaps in financial systems have kept over 1.4 billion people around the world from building a better future for themselves and their families. We believe that helping unlock the potential that has been held back by this inequity will help advance our goal of building a better business to better the world.