Investment Profile

Kiva Refugee Investment Fund

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Kiva Refugee Investment Fund provides senior unsecured loans to Kiva MFI Partners that work closely with displaced populations, with an initial focus on the Middle East and Latin America.
Investment size $3M
Theme Migration and Inclusion
Type Indirect
Geography Global
Sector Financial Services
Date 2021

Theory of Change

The Kiva Refugee Investment Fund (KRIF) builds off Kiva.org’s success in utilizing its crowdfunding platform to demonstrate the viability of lending to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). KRIF does this by providing financial service providers, such as microfinance institutions (MFIs), with capital to scale their ethical lending to displaced populations in light of the fact that most banks deem lending to refugees as too risky.

Challenge and Context

Currently, there are over 100 million displaced persons in the world, a number that is rising and may reach 300 million by 2030. Refugees and IDPs have valuable skills and experience and are often employed in the local economy, but frequently are unable to access capital or other financial services. Only a handful of financial service providers worldwide are engaged in this area due to barriers that include: the perception of heightened risk based on factors such as lack of credit records or prejudice; concerns over reputational risk; and legal barriers such as the need for permits or proof of identity.   

Proposition

KRIF builds on the work of Kiva, which since 2016 has facilitated more than $25M in loans to catalyze refugee lending, and complements Kiva’s well established crowdfunding platform. Ultimately, Kiva hopes KRIF can serve as a demonstration model to be replicated by other investors in order to expand economic opportunity for the millions of financially-excluded, displaced individuals throughout the world.

Impact

By bringing in significant amounts of capital, KRIF will improve the access, quality and affordability of financial services for refugees, globally. 

Expected Outcomes

By 2026, we expect Kiva will have supported 25 financial service providers in low- and middle-income countries to: 

  • gradually scale-up refugee lending;  
  • positively impact the lives of at least 200,000 people; 
  • improve refugee-lending standards by supporting the field with research and sharing key learnings; and      
  • explore the possibility of establishing a second fund focused on supporting displaced populations. 

Why SEDF?

This investment contributes to Open Society multifaceted work on refugee inclusion and support to communities affected by migration, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean and in the Middle East and North Africa.