Kiva.org, the online organization that allows individuals to invest in development micro-loans around the world, is open to working with credit unions lending projects in the U.S., the organization said.
Kiva has already partnered with ASI Federal Credit Union, a 73,000-member community development credit union that serves the greater New Orleans area and funded 14 loans to New Orleans entrepreneurs.
The project, Kiva New Orleans, is the second of a series of efforts Kiva hopes will both highlight the organization and micro-lending opportunities in the U.S. Kiva has launched a similar effort in Detroit which does not involve a credit union.
Premal Shah, president of Kiva.org, said that there were regulatory reasons Kiva favored working with credit unions when possible.
“Regulations in the U.S. frequently prevent credit unions from making risky or nontraditional business loans with capital from member shares or savings,” Shah said, adding that community development credit unions such as ASI are potentially strong partners with the organization since they have somewhat overlapping missions.
Shah also remarked that Kiva felt very encouraged about its effort in New Orleans since all 14 of the initial loans, totaling $125,000, were funded within 24 hours of being added to the organization's website.