Kiva.org is now working in India. The microlending non-profit made the announcement yesterday in a press release.

What’s The Big Deal

And why India? 32% of the population falls below the international poverty line. And 68% of the population is living on less than $2 a day (US) — which affects millions of Indians. Many of which are women.

If financial matters were not bad enough — India has a poor history with microfinance. So making affordable sources of capital available to millions of poverty stricken Indians is a challenge. Indian government regulations leave many financial institutions unable or unwilling to serve poor borrowers.

Kiva has taken this opportunity to work with the Indian government and its Field Partners (microfinance organizations) to make funds available to the people who need them most.

“The goal: to fund loan products that are custom-tailored to help borrowers change their lives. This is especially important in India, where there has long been a one-size-fits-all approach to microlending.”

Partners & Borrowers

Kiva lenders can make loans as small as $25 to Indian borrowers. This allows Field Partners like the Mahashakti Foundation to ensure that these microloans can help with programs that:

  • improve drinking water and sanitation systems
  • promote solar and renewable sources of energy

The Nandalala Group is one such borrower.

“A portion of Nandalala Group’s $3,925 loan helps a member to buy raw materials like spices, rice, cooking oil, black lentils, etc. for her snacks business.”

And as of today the group has raised of 84% the loan amount.

The co-Founder

Kiva co-Founder Jessica Jackely has made a massive impact in the lives of others. The organization she started in 2005 has accumulated some impressive statistics:

  • Total Amount of all loan purchases made through Kiva: $343,257,825
  • Number of Kiva Users: 1,240,047
  • Number of Kiva Users who have funded a loan: 807,416
  • Number of countries represented by Kiva Users: 220
  • Number of borrowers that have received a loan through Kiva: 844,023

The video below is of Jackely speaking at a TED conference. Jessica talks about why she founded Kiva and even gets emotional about her commitment.