Kiva Playbook:
Building a Kiva Community

Every  community  is a team.  And every team  needs a leader: someone  who can cast a vision and  create opportunities for that vision  to be realized. Building  a Kiva Community  is  a playbook  for leaders who  desire to drive social  change and create economic  impact. Sign up to download!

Developed through the Michael Rubinger Community Fellowship (Bryce Butler 2017), a program of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

Gated Resource Form Kiva

Why  a Kiva  Community  Matters

Even  the best  leaders need  buy-in from their  team to make a great  idea work. Kiva is a powerful  platform, but it’s only effective  to the extent that a community uses  it as a tool to leverage capital and access.  When people come together to talk about, explore and  use Kiva, it becomes integrated into the fabric of a  regional economy such that it’s a normative part of the  entrepreneurial process. Without that buy-in, particularly in  more rural areas without a population of early adopters, Kiva  will remain the enclave of third-world countries and in-the-know  urbanites.

After the launch of Kiva Louisville in November 2014, Access Ventures realized the need for a more developed playbook on launching a successful community. By  shifting from external leadership and funding to local leadership and funding, Access Ventures was able to create a much more agile model in  which a larger portion of launch-generated funding went to local entrepreneurs. More importantly, the new model established a process that supported  ongoing buy-in from the local community, who inevitably is best suited to manage regional Kiva efforts in the long run.

As of September 2018, the efforts of this playbook across three regions (Louisville, Columbus, & Tulsa) has resulted in:

  • Borrowers 250+ (55% female & 54% minority)
  • Lenders 15,600+ (12,700+ from the United States & many first time lenders)
  • Total loan amount $1,500,000+ (of new money to support local small businesses)
  • Match Loans $450,000

Download the playbook above and explore the other playbook videos to learn more.

Kiva communities experience between 7 and 10 times the impact on an economy, in a shorter period of time, than individual borrowers finding Kiva online on their own.

We’ve heard it said that there’s always a story behind the story. If nothing else,  that is certainly true of Kiva  communities. On the surface, a Kiva  community is about creating a more vibrant  and successful economy with more capital access  and more business growth. But that’s just the story.  The story behind the story is that Kiva communities create  more opportunities for individuals to find joy and fulfillment  in their work; that Kiva allows people of all backgrounds to experience  ownership over businesses and projects; and that Kiva opens the doors a little  wider to let entire communities participate in their neighbor’s successes.

At  Access  Ventures,  our team has  found Kiva communities  to be a significant engine  for social change in neighborhoods  across the United States. Our hope is  that as champions rise up to start Kiva  communities, the transformation we are witnessing  in a handful of cities becomes a larger momentum for  empowerment and inclusivity.