Monday, September 20, 2010 Extends Its Global Microlending Marketplace to Education by Adding Student Microloans

Starting today, Kiva is offering a pilot of student microloans on its site. Kiva lenders can now make loans to students in three countries: Paraguay, Bolivia, and Lebanon: Extends Its Global Microlending Marketplace to Education by Adding Student Microloans

Microfinance Leader Aims to Demonstrate That Students in Developing Nations Will Repay Loans if Given The Opportunity, Helping Open The Door For Higher Education Around The World

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – September 20, 2010 –, the world's first personal micro-lending website, has announced a pilot of Student Microloans on Beginning today on, anyone can lend as little as $25 to students in three countries around the world. Founded as a means to combine the impact of microfinance with the utility of technology, Kiva is in a unique position to help lenders make a personal difference – easily, quickly and effectively – first with small business microloans and now with student microloans.

The pilot was born as a natural extension of Kiva's mission to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. Kiva Student Microloans give recipients the opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills through higher education or vocational training. As a result, these individuals will be better positioned to find jobs, support their families and grow their communities -- and ultimately make a real difference in the relief of global poverty.

"In developing countries, access to funding for education doesn't exist like it does in the United States," said Premal Shah, president of "Without being given the opportunity, students don't have the chance to demonstrate fiscal responsibility. We believe the internet community is in a unique position to share the risk of student lending in the developing world and if these students repay their loans -- as we believe they will -- it could be the very impetus needed to make education accessible for everyone around the world."

Many thanks to our field partners in Fundación Paraguaya, IMPRO, and Ameen s.a.l. for their hard work in making this pilot a reality!

We've posted a number of student loans on the Kiva website already, including the following:

Alicia Frutos is from the city of Caaguazú. She is 23 years old and in her fifth year studying Legal and Notary Sciences at Universidad del Norte in Caaguazú. Alicia has a 22 year old sister who graduated with a degree in Accounting from the same school. Her mother has a business renting out tables and chairs for social events, while her father works as a merchant.

Alicia currently works as a registrar at the courthouse, where she is gaining experience while earning an income to help pay for her studies. She is eager to finish her degree so that she can open her own law practice, grow professionally, and be recognized for her excellent work as a lawyer.

Alicia is requesting a loan to pay her monthly tuition. Since she is seeking to complete two degrees, the cost is quite expensive.

Noelia Ruiz Diaz is from Limpio. She is 20 years old and is in the second year of the Sciences of Education and Mathematics program at the Universidad UTCD de Asunción. She has one sister who is studying in high school. Her mother is a housewife and her father is a construction worker.

Noelia currently teaches private classes, earning to have an income and, in this way, help her parents who pay for her studies, and to also practice her future profession. She travels everyday by bus to her school’s campus since it is far from her house.

Noelia’s dream is to finish her degree and work in an educational institution to teach the higher knowledge that she is acquiring. Noelia is requesting this loan for the purchase of materials (books) and school supplies (leaflets, notebooks) that she needs for her studies.

To learn more about how you can help support a student, please visit You can also view Kiva's student loans at the following link: