Kiva connects millions of people around the world through lending to alleviate poverty.

As the first and largest micro-lending platform on the internet, Kiva gives anyone the opportunity to lend as little as $25 to help people start and grow businesses, improve their homes, go to school, and more.

To date, Kiva has made over $400 million in loans possible in more than 65 countries, including the United States. As a San Francisco-based nonprofit with offices worldwide, it employs over 90 full time staff and 500+ volunteers.

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Project Executive Summary

Kiva Zip (“Zip”) is a pilot program launched in 15 cities across the United States that offers entrepreneurs access to 0% interest, no fee loans. Zip operates as a system based on a trustee’s endorsement and lenders willingness to help entrepreneurs financially.

The objective of this project is to maximize Zip’s capacity for positive social impact, particularly for financially excluded entrepreneurs and socially impactful enterprises. This is achieved through enhancement of a peer-to-peer lending platform, analysis of regional opportunities and identification of key influencers and potential collaborators for Kiva Zip.

The project used frameworks such as Scenario Planning, Business Model Canvas and Blue Ocean Strategy, in addition to analyzing opportunities to include an effective Social Return on Investment (SROI) metric.

To assist Kiva in their strategic approach to scaling up Kiva Zip, we recommend the following actions:
-Trustee Incentive Alignment
-Hire one Regional Partnership Manager
-Establish a regional economic council
-Provide greater recognition for trustees
-Provide letters of recommendation/endorsements
-Create and maintain an online network for trustees

Fellows Program Redesign
-Focus Fellows exclusively on new city launches and use interns following launches
-Offer more rewarding incentives to domestic Fellows
-Coordinate these and other short-term volunteer assignments using the Regional Partnership Manager role

Internal Operations Efficiency Upgrades
-Design and Solicit Domestic Case Statement / Case for Support
-Reallocate existing Kiva fundraising staff member to dedicate 50% of their time to Kiva Zip efforts
-Define Independent Financials
-Continue Technology Investments to Analyze Data & Build Community
-Institutionalize and Operationalize Relationship Management
-Create a Targeted Marketing Plan