How to Invest $1,000: Loan to Kiva

What could be better than donating to a good cause? Making that donation a loan and recycling it, re-investing after each repayment.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The impact investing platform, Kiva (, was designed to do just that. A U.S. non-profit that has lent over $1.7 billion to small businesses and individuals, Kiva investors crowdfund loans to entrepreneurs who often lack access to banking services. Loans typically cover the cost of buying a machine to increase food or textile production, supplies for expanding a small general store, or seeds for farmers.

Kiva was originally designed to benefit people in low-income countries but expanded to the U.S. in 2011. That means you can invest in a weaving coop of Indigenous women in Guatemala, or a mother of five in Atlanta hoping to expand her beauty products business.

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Ellen Kennedy
Personal Finance Editor,

Ellen writes and edits personal finance stories, especially on credit cards and related products. She also covers the nexus between sustainability and personal finance. She was a manager and sustainability analyst at Calvert Investments for 15 years, focusing on climate change and consumer staples. She served on the sustainability councils of several Fortune 500 companies and led corporate engagements. Before joining Calvert, Ellen was a program officer for Winrock International, managing loans to alternative energy projects in Latin America. She earned a master’s from the U.C. Berkeley in international relations and Latin America.