On Our Recent Growth
Several of you asked recently why we have been growing so rapidly, and what our plan for the future is. While we are excited at the prospect of reaching more Kenyan borrowers and expanding our reach, we don’t want any of you to be confused about our growth or left in the dark on our plans. It is for the sake of transparency, and respect for the important role that all of you play, that we are writing to you now about our plans for the future of Kiva Zip.
On August 19th we added Joyful Women Organization (JoyWo) as a network trustee. JoyWo is an NGO that works with nearly 8,000 women in 32 counties throughout Kenya. These women are organized into small groups that do table banking, and our collective goal is for each one of these groups to become a trustee. Since August, they have produced 191 trustees and have posted 600 loans to date. With their help, we have exceeded our monthly targets for number of trustees making their first endorsement (44 in October), the number of loans raised per month has passed 400, and the average time from trustee invite to making their first endorsement has dropped to just 20 days.
These large organizational partners are a great way for us to expand the social underwriting and trustee-model of Kiva Zip, and we’ve realized that this is a great way for us to quickly reach new groups of people. As we grow, we plan on having more organizations like JOYWO to gain more trustees with access to new borrowers. While this is the first large jump in the number of loans that we’ve experienced, it won’t be the last. We hope to continue to pursue these larger organizations as we grow, while staying true to our mission, our vision, and the needs of our trustees.
These past two months have seen exponential growth for Kiva Zip, and we hope this hasn’t caused undue stress for any of you. Let’s remember that Kiva Zip is still a small, experimental part of kiva.org, and change must be embraced if we are to find a model for Zip that can be translated to different regions around the world. Each and every one of you, our trustees, is critical to our work. We could not do this without you, and we want to make sure you are on board with these changes as we move forward. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us.
Kiva Zip Kenya Team