Press Release: Kiva Announces Global Commitments for Women and Refugees at Clinton Global Initiative 2023 Meeting
By Brit Heiring
Kiva committed to advancing gender-forward financial access for 500,000 women by 2025 and unlocking financial opportunities for 75,000 refugees and IDPs by 2026 and called on others to join the commitments.
Vishal Ghotge, Kiva CEO, announced the commitments on stage at the CGI 2023 Meeting in New York City earlier today, September 19. Building off a long history of experience and measurable outcomes for both women and refugee communities, Kiva’s CTAs provide an opportunity to expand proven solutions that meet the unique financial access needs of each population.
“By focusing our CTAs on communities we have long histories of serving with a data-driven approach, Kiva will not only open financial opportunity for thousands more underserved women and refugees, but we will also be able to add value, share learnings, and collaborate on solutions together with the larger CGI cohort to improve our global approach.” said Ghotge. “We can’t do it alone; we need partners to join us in these commitments to make a measurable impact on the financial needs of individuals and communities around the world.”
Launched by President Bill Clinton in 2005, CGI is a community of organizations and individuals taking action to make a tangible difference in people’s lives around the world. CGI works with partners to develop Commitments to Action, which are new, specific, and measurable plans to address significant challenges. Since 2005, more than 3,900 Commitments to Action have been launched through CGI, making a difference in the lives of more than 435 million people in over 180 countries.
Commitment to Action: Unlocking Financial Opportunities for 75,000 Refugees
Kiva’s refugee-focused CTA, Unlocking Financial Opportunities for 75,000 Refugees, outlines a bold and evidence-based plan for supporting refugees on their path to rebuild their lives. As part of the CTA, Kiva commits to reaching 75,000 refugees by 2026 with $60 million in loans, and exceeding 60% women borrowers. Loans will be funded by both philanthropy and investments to scale evidence-based financial products for displaced communities.
Kiva began offering loans to refugee communities in 2016, recognizing the unique ability of the risk-tolerant crowdfunding platform to help local organizations serve these populations. With refugee borrowers’ average repayment rate above 96%, Kiva has proven the viability of lending to and investing in refugees, breaking longstanding misconceptions that this population was too risky for investment. Refugee and displaced borrowers are so reliable, Kiva successfully launched a groundbreaking investment fund focusing on refugee financial inclusion.
Expanding on its experience and learnings to date, Kiva will bring together new investors, lenders, corporate partners, financial service providers, and social enterprises as part of the CTA to expand to new geographies, implement and share emerging best practices, and significantly increase financial access for refugees around the world.
Commitment to Action: Advancing Gender-Forward Financial Access for 500,000 Women
Even though research shows that women are more likely to invest their earnings in ways that have a long-term impact on their families and communities, an overwhelming number of women, 740 million, still lack the economic agency to do so. To-date, Kiva has facilitated over $1.5 billion in loans for women. The large scale of work yet to be done forms the basis for Kiva’s second CTA: Advancing Gender-Forward Financial Access for 500,000 Women.
Kiva commits to harnessing its global presence and experience to fund and build tailored gender-forward financial services to an additional 500,000 women by 2025. Building on Kiva’s 18-year history of measurable impact for women through loans, this CTA will focus on the power of partnerships through work with microfinance institutions to expand loans and implement technical assistance programs.
In addition to expanding financial inclusion and services for women, Kiva has committed to developing a measurement tool to evaluate gender-forward practices, products, and services. Together with 60 Decibels (60db), an independent impact measurement firm, Kiva will examine outcomes for women borrowers to ensure products and services meet their needs and share learnings with industry peers to improve the gender-forward service landscape.
“Kiva is honored to be among this global cohort of changemakers and doers, and we are grateful to the Clinton Foundation for providing this opportunity,” said Ghotge.
We are seeking partners who can join our commitment, to provide funding, implementation support, thought leadership, and specialized expertise. Whether you are a foundation, impact investor, corporate entity, social enterprise, or an individual, your contribution will help unlock financial opportunities for refugees and women, leading to improved livelihoods and accelerated economic growth potential. If you’d like to join us, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of UN Women Asia and the Pacific.