HONG KONG, Oct. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Manulife and Kiva announced a partnership to provide a funding boost to microentrepreneurs and underserved communities globally with a concentrated focus in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam through a USD $1 million investment over three years. Through this commitment, Kiva will be able to increase the volume of entrepreneurs they provide with micro-financing loans across emerging markets in Asia and around the world.
Gaps in the current financial system have prevented over 1.4 billion people globally from building a better future for themselves and their families. Manulife and Kiva’s partnership is uniquely positioned to bridge these gaps and will focus on making financial solutions more accessible to small business owners and marginalized individuals through two key initiatives:
- Increase Asia-focused lending capacity to help Kiva scale up lending partners in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam and provide financing for them to increase capacity for funding loans to aspiring microentrepreneurs.
- Fund loans to microentrepreneurs in Asia and across the globe–an impactful solution to deploy flexible funding to small business owners through incentivizing corporate match funds or Kiva credits.
As part of the partnership, the Manulife Match Fund will be leveraged to provide capital to microentrepreneurs and underserved communities on Kiva’s crowd-funding platform, making this a simple way to distribute funds quickly and open opportunities for individuals and communities without traditional access to financial services. Once the loans are repaid, funds return to Manulife’s Match Fund and will be distributed to new microentrepreneurs. As a revolving fund, the Manulife Match Fund with Kiva can play the crucial role of increasing the total funding available and accelerating the speed of funding loans for entrepreneurs.
This collaboration will also empower Kiva to conduct lean data studies and publish valuable insights on outcomes for borrowers, further strengthening a knowledge base for financial inclusion and ensuring that Kiva continues to help lending partners have the most beneficial outcomes for their clients.
This recent commitment from Manulife aligns with one of critical key areas of focus within Manulife’s Impact Agenda, which aims to drive inclusive economic opportunities to create a more even playing field for all. Through the partnership with Kiva, Manulife will help to accelerate the upward mobility of underrepresented groups and make financial solutions more accessible.
Sarah Chapman, Global Chief Sustainability Officer, Manulife, said: “We are proud of our partnership with Kiva, which will help entrepreneurs to unlock the financial resources they need to build thriving enterprises and transform their communities. This commitment underscores the power of blended finance in helping us reach underserved individuals and communities in key emerging markets in Asia. As this partnership unfolds, we look forward to better engaging our customers, agents, colleagues, and all our stakeholders through inspiring local activation campaigns across the region.”
The partnership will be launched in three phases over the coming three years, with local activation campaigns targeting different markets, sectors, and causes that resonate with Manulife’s customers, employees, agents, and Kiva’s network of lenders. Details of the local activations will be announced in subsequent months as they are rolled out in individual markets.
Vishal Ghotge, CEO, Kiva, commented: “Kiva is excited to partner with Manulife to expand our work to create a financially inclusive world where all people hold the power to improve their lives. Kiva’s model gives agency to individuals and brings systemic changes through the smallest of steps – both for partners like Manulife who want to bring about change and for entrepreneurs who need financial access to have a shot at bettering their lives. It’s an honor to join hands with Manulife in pursuit of our shared vision for a more equitable financial future.”
Kiva was founded in 2005 as a crowdfunding pioneer, connecting individual lenders with entrepreneurs and communities worldwide. Over two million people have invested $2 billion in real dreams and real opportunities, spanning more than 90 countries and 4.7 million borrowers. Through Kiva, Manulife funded several loans to entrepreneurs and borrowers in Asia, including Ms. Luật and Ms. Siti, to create or expand on an opportunity.
Case study 1: Supporting women from ethnic minority communities in rural Vietnam1
Ms. Luật is a 54-year-old woman from an ethnic minority group living in Ngoc Lac district, a secluded rural area in Vietnam. Her family relies heavily on agriculture for their sustenance. They cultivate rice and grow industrial crops for timber production and raise poultry and pigs. She and her husband shoulder the responsibility of providing for their family, and overcoming the challenges that come with their remote location – poor living conditions, limited access to resources, basic needs and healthcare, and investing in their farm.
Recognizing the potential for agricultural sustainability, she made a courageous decision to take a second loan totaling USD $2,125 from Thanh Hoa Microfinance Institution, Kiva’s Lending Partner, to purchase fertilizers and hire additional labor for their industrial crop for timber sale in the future. By investing in their farm, Luật can increase her family’s yields and generate a more stable income.
Case study 2: Expanding the sale of essential goods in Indonesia2
Ms. Siti is a 42-year-old woman living in Indonesia with her husband and three children. Siti has been running a small business selling water for over 10 years, however her income is barely enough to buy more supplies in order to expand her business.
In hopes of improving her family’s living conditions and creating a healthy life for her children and community, Siti took a loan of USD $675 from Benteng Mikro Indonesia (BMI), Kiva’s lending partner, to expand her business by buying more water to sell. By doing so, this loan will help stimulate business activity and provide essential goods to an underserved community, thereby raising the standard of living of Siti’s family and their community.
To learn more about Manulife and Kiva’s partnership, visit www.kiva.org/manulifematchfund.
Please refer to Kiva website for more details on the case study: https://www.kiva.org/lend/2625553
Please refer to Kiva website for more details on the case study: https://www.kiva.org/lend/2641943
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services provider, helping people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we provide financial advice and insurance, operating as Manulife across Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Through Manulife Investment Management, the global brand for our Global Wealth and Asset Management segment, we serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. At the end of 2022, we had more than 40,000 employees, over 116,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 34 million customers. We trade as ‘MFC’ on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong.
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Kiva is a global nonprofit founded in 2005 with a mission to expand financial access and help underserved communities thrive. Kiva unlocks capital for borrowers through crowdfunded loans supported by individuals worldwide. Kiva partners with businesses and organizations to make an even greater impact on communities around the world, one loan at a time. With Kiva, you can create a financially inclusive world where all people hold the power to improve their lives. Over two million people have invested $2 billion in real dreams and real opportunities, spanning more than 90 countries and 5 million borrowers.