4 Easy Steps to Improve your Kiva Loan Application

Malik Laffoon
September 4, 2020

My name is Geoffrey Jones and I have the honor of being a Capital Access Manager with Kiva through our Hub at Bankable.“Kiva is a 501(c)3 U.S. nonprofit fueled by passionate people. Kiva was founded in 2005, and based in San Francisco, with offices in Bangkok, Nairobi, Portland, and staff around the globe. Bankable works in partnership with Kiva by Bankable being a Kiva-Hub. Borrowers that apply through Bankable that might be a better fit for Kiva have instant access through having a Capital Access Manager contact like Geoffrey. Then it can be handed right back off to Bankable if that borrower chooses to apply for additional funding.

More than 1.7 billion people around the world are unbanked and can’t access the financial services they need. Kiva helps these individuals by crowdfunding loans and unlocking capital for the underserved by improving the quality and cost of financial services, and addressing the underlying barriers to financial access around the world. Through Kiva’s work, students can pay for tuition, women can start businesses, farmers are able to invest in equipment, and families can afford needed emergency care.

As Capital Access Manager I see a lot of applications. There are four common mistakes I usually see. So, here are some easy fixes to give you an even better chance to be accepted!

4 Kiva Application Mistakes

1. Profile Photo

Kiva has a pretty simple application process but one of the most controversial issues is the profile photo. While it is much easier to take a selfie or just upload a photo of your business/product, Kiva would rather see the individual (the borrower only) smiling and representing their business in some way.

2. Business Description & Story

This is where the underwriters, including myself, have the opportunity to get to know the borrower. Kiva looks for really well-thought and clean applications with grammatically correct descriptions of the business and the borrower’s story. Kiva is here to serve underserved individuals and wants to know what challenges they have been facing so that Kiva can share that they can help out those who truly face the hardships in today’s world.

3. Reasons for funding

There must be a  good reason that these funds are going to go towards. With hundreds of thousands of lenders all over the globe, they want to know that their donation is going to a meaningful purpose. Too many times people request money just to have it, and that takes away from individuals who truly need the funds to continue on thriving. Kiva has certain eligibility requirements you can find on their site when applying for funding.

4. Document Business Proof

Make sure your business is registered! Kiva takes lending very seriously and will only lend out to validated and documented businesses that can show they are a legal business. Again, with lenders all over the world, they need to know what they are donating to is a legal cause and a business that is following the laws. Depending on where a business is located, there are many resources within their city that they can register for legal documentation to practice their business lawfully.

It’s truthfully an easy process and we want to help you as much as we can! If you just take your time and advocate for yourself and your business. You started this for a reason, you believed in yourself, now make lenders and customers around the world believe in you the same way!