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Social enterprises lack access to the capital they need to scale. Crowdvetting makes it possible for them to get 0% interest loans from Kiva

Crowdsourcing the vetting of social enterprises to finance organizations that are generating prosperity and protecting the planet

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*Please Upload User Experience Map (as attachment) and any additional Beneficiary Feedback in this field

Attachments include: > Crowdvetting User Experience Map > List of social enterprise borrowers > Social enterprise feedback (OpenIDEO comments) > User feedback (OpenIDEO comments) > Tufts crowdvetting user feedback > UC Berkeley crowdvetting user feedback > +Acumen crowdvetting user feedback > +Acumen crowdvetting pilot results > Growth targets derived from +Acumen test > Prototype CrowdVet.org output

Explain your project idea in two sentences.

Social enterprises lack access to capital - it is expensive to vet them and hence they are excluded by many investors. We've built a platform that uses crowdsourcing to reduce vetting costs.

What is your organization name? Explain your organization in one sentence.

Kiva is a non-profit crowdfunding website that connects people through lending to alleviate poverty.

Is this project idea new for you or your organization? If no, how much have you already executed on?

Tested volunteer interest in a +Acumen challenge (Sep '16). Built prototype platform (Nov '16) and iterated based on user feedback (May '17). Piloted with professionals from BlackRock (Jun '17). Received pro bono design team interest to develop an improved UX, pending grants to implement.

What is the problem you aim to solve with this idea? How would you define this problem as urgent and a priority in your target community?

Social Enterprises, who use market forces to impact the poor or protect the environment, lack access to finance because it is expensive to vet them. They are too big for microfinance, yet too small for traditional banking. Crowdvetting will reduce that cost. Read more here: https://goo.gl/Yf5hGd

What is the timeline for your project idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?

2017: Expand number of participating graduate programs and financial firms. Obtain grant funding to implement platform functionality upgrades (gamification, impact tracking, and skill certifications). 2018: Increase geographical diversity of vetters to draw out local insights and reduce financing friction for local enterprises. 2019: Validate reliability and quality of crowd’s output so that Kiva fully relies on crowd to conduct primary due diligence of social enterprises.

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of responsibility).

Crowdvetting is a project of Kiva's Strategic Initiatives team which is run by Carlos Pierre (https://www.alinkedin.com/in/carlospierrekasuga/). Carlos is the lead for Kiva’s Direct-to-Social-Enterprise program and has been a key driver in Kiva’s shift beyond its work in traditional microfinance.

What do you need the most support with in this project idea?

  • Program/Product/Service Design

What is your primary goal over the next 6 weeks of Refinement?

  • Iterate or improve on my product/service

How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) results for this project?

Vetter KPIs: # of Vetters: 48 # of Universities crowdvetting: 12+ (Fall 2017) # of companies crowdvetting: 1 # of social enterprises vetted: 16 (of 36 DSE total) # of Votes submitted: 299 Crowd accuracy in vetting: TBD Crowdvetting Program KPIs: USD crowdfunded: $676k (of $1.46m DSE total) Repayment rate: 94.7% on-time Jobs sustained/created: 559 (of 868 DSE total) Individuals impacted: ~50k (of 667k DSE total)

How has your project proposal changed due to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase?

We learned users want even more engagement through CrowdVet.org than we initially built-in. Users desire a stronger connection with the enterprises they helped vet, such as ongoing updates. More than just a "black box" for submitting evaluations, we now aim to make CrowdVet.org a place where relationships are built between vetters and borrowers.

(Optional) What are some of your still unanswered questions or concerns about this idea?

How will crowdvetting results compare to borrower repayment rate? How does the crowd's ability to pick successful enterprises compare to Kiva staff? How much training should we provide crowdvetters, if any? How can we provide a common language for vetting, while fostering a diversity of opinions? Should crowdvetting be restricted to a particular group (MBA candidates, financial services professionals) or open to anyone who wants to help vet Kiva's pipeline of social enterprises?

During this Improve Phase, please use the space below to add any additional information to your proposal.

Expert feedback questions: > Provide stronger articulation around how your idea bridges peace, planet and prosperity Crowdvetting enables social enterprises, which are already tackling poverty, protecting the environment, and promoting peace in their local communities, to access the capital they need to scale. (See examples in attachments). These early-stage organizations fall in the Missing Middle: they are too big for microfinance, yet too small for traditional banking. There are literally thousands of them, but only a handful are lucky enough to get the capital they need. Crowdvetting will open a path for social enterprises that bridge peace, planet, and prosperity to access capital, build the track record to attract institutional capital, and scale their impact. > Ensuring the quality of the experience as you grow and scale Quality of the user experience is the bedrock of this volunteer program. We are exploring both online and offline methods to improve their experience. As the number of volunteers scale, we would create levels based on track record and expertise to tailor interventions. Online we have seen that actively recruiting a diverse crowd creates opportunities for insightful and organic conversation. We are testing if we can leverage Kiva’s existing large community of volunteers to promote engagement. For example, we will have a small group of Kiva volunteers join the pilot with BlackRock professionals to provide insight on emerging markets or Kiva these professionals may lack. Offline we engage with impact investment clubs or Net Impact chapters to ensure users have a physical community with whom they can interact and discuss. Our results indicate that such offline groups increase participation online. These approaches will be proven at-scale in coming months, as we expect rapid growth of our platform when students return to campus in the Fall. Vetter Quality/Training : Initially, crowdvetting will be used to help prioritize promising enterprises, not to approve borrowers without Kiva supervision. This allows Kiva to gradually learn and test what works best with vetters. Participants tend to be more conservative than Kiva staff. They reject marginal applications that Kiva approves. Their unfamiliarity with a new business model or sector is a key factor in this. Over time, as vetters’ experience in a sector increases, they start to vote as Kiva does. This hints that the most effective training is practice doing vetting. Vetter Accountability: We want vetters’ individual results to be public (e.g # of enterprises reviews, loan volume approved, delinquency rate, default rate, sectors reviewed, etc.). Such public results can be used to demonstrate knowledge and we hope vetters add it to their resume and LinkedIn profiles. We are giving them valuable exposure to skills that usually require an internship at an impact investment fund to acquire. Creating an environment where they can develop a reputation on the platform that has value outside the community is likely to bring about their best performance. Opening Platform: Kiva will not immediately open up the program to the general public. When we do, we want to weight votes by the level of experience of the vetter. At scale, Kiva could use past vetting results to weight votes when aggregating the crowd’s results. E.g. If you are a professional in the solar sector, your votes on solar social enterprises will be weighted more heavily than the vote of an undergrad student. Other user attributes and interests could be used to tailor the evaluations they can review. Kiva could thus ensure quality of vetting while providing an open platform for anyone who wants to engage with innovative social enterprises. > Assess crowd vetting outcomes in making the final decision whether to finance competing proposals Initially, only Kiva’s Direct to Social Enterprise (DSE) program will use the output of the crowd. Currently, it is DSE that makes the final investment decision. As the crowdvetting platform matures and develops a track record for identifying creditworthy social enterprises, more responsibility will be able to go to the crowd. Other financial services firms (e.g. Lendahand, Sunfunder and Trine) have already established referral relationships with the DSE program. Once borrowers successfully raise Kiva funding, they use the loan to build the track record and become more attractive to later stage investors. Crowdvetting thus increases the likelihood that social enterprises can subsequently attract investors through traditional financial institutions. > User-feedback and growth strategy Most current and planned functionality for the platform has either been suggested by or validated by users as something that would improve their experience. Please see next section.

Note that you may also edit any of your previous answers within the proposal. Here is a great place to note any big final changes or iterations you have made to your proposal below:

It is part of our current processes to proactively reach out to users. Aside from email feedback, we set-up feedback calls with them, and if possible visit them on campus, and watch them use the platform. We have a policy of responding to any comment made on the platform within 48 hrs to ensure users feel heard and remain engaged. We are also planning on-line workshops and on-campus events to create more avenues to connect with Kiva staff. Guided by user feedback, we completely reconstructed our prototype platform at crowdvet.org in early June 2017. While these hands-on methods do not scale, we follow the “do things that do not scale” mantra as these insights are key to understanding our users. As we grow, we plan to continue to do deep dives with specific user pools (e.g. reaching out to both the university with the highest participation rates and that with the lowest rate) and specific users (those that are most active, those that we lost after a few votes). Given the promising results from the pilots to date, Kiva is growing the size of our community to push the crowdvetting program. Three initiatives will be key to achieving this goal: > BlackRock pilot program BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management firm with $5.4T in assets under management. Kiva has launched a 6-week pilot crowdvetting program with working professionals from BlackRock. ~30 BlackRock employees of all levels and locations will vet 10 prospective Kiva borrowers on CrowdVet.org. The pilot will provide further data on a crowd’s ability to make due diligence decisions, and also will give us feedback on platform preferences for professionals (compared to graduate students). Following the pilot, we hope to open crowdvetting up to all BlackRock employees. > Rapid growth in graduate student participation Following the positive response from our graduate student pilot, Kiva reached out to the NetImpact chapters at 20 universities to gauge interest in crowdvetting. As of June, over a dozen universities have committed to joining a crowdvetting program this Fall. Example partners include Tufts University, Duke University, UCLA, and Columbia University. In response to user feedback, Kiva will be organizing on-campus workshops and events as part of a structured, semester-long crowdvetting program for graduate students. Additionally, we are testing if crowdvetting can become part of university curriculums. Prof. Lawrence Louie of Hult University's MBA program will require students to crowdvet twice for his course "Finance and Social Enterprises". This summer, 100+ students from Hult's 7 global campuses will participate in crowdvetting as a part of the course's curriculum. Prof. Louie is excited about the applied learning experience that crowdvetting will provide students. He is also looking forward to the dialogue that will emerge between students, finance professionals, Kiva staff, and the social enterprises they will be vetting. > Design support by AdaptivePath at Capital One Currently, CrowdVet.org is the minimal viable product for crowdvetting. Our users desire more functionality (e.g. experience tracking, impact tracking, integrations with Kiva.org, and gamification features). To help refine our product concept, Kiva will receive pro-bono design support from AdaptivePath, Capital One’s team of human-centered designers. AdaptivePath’s support will help define a product roadmap for CrowdVet.org. As Kiva identifies development resources, the product roadmap will guide iterative improvement of our live crowdvetting platform.

A note on due diligence and the cost of vetting social enterprises:

To establish the creditworthiness of potential borrowers, investors and lenders conduct due diligence. For most investors due diligence is a fairly fixed cost, meaning a similar level of due diligence is conducted for an investment of $50,000 as for an investment of $500,000. As a result, investors and lenders tend to prioritize larger investments at the exclusion of smaller firms. 

Because due diligence is expensive, most do not want to share their results. They do not want others to monetize their value. Because Kiva is a non-profit that lends at 0% and does not monetize its due diligence, Kiva is in an ideal position to receive and share the due diligence of others. We want others to help us find social enterprises Kiva can work with and we are happy to share the organizations we have invested in. 

Crowdvetting reduces the cost of vetting early-stage social enterprises for Kiva, in turn providing enterprises with access to affordable, crowdfunded working capital. It also alleviates the bottleneck of Kiva staff reviewing loan applications by prioritizing the most needful borrowers. By crowdsourcing the vetting of loan applications, Kiva can provide social enterprises access to the capital they need to scale their impact.

More background on the challenge we are working to address can be found in this Kiva Labs post on growing social enterprises (https://www.kiva.org/about/impact/labs/growingsocialenterprises), this post on bridging the missing middle (http://blog.kiva.org/2013/12/27/bridging-the-missing-middle-the-impact-of-larger-loans-on-kiva), also in this announcement of Kiva's Direct-to-Social-Enterprise program (https://www.kiva.org/blog/kiva/2016/06/27/kiva-launches-direct-to-social-enterprise-program).

Explain your idea

On one hand, there are many social enterprises creating market-based solutions to pressing societal issues: > (Peace) Global Trauma Project provides trauma mitigation services in conflict regions like South Sudan. > (Sustainable Agriculture) EcoFuels enables thousands of small-holder farmers across rural Kenya to sustainably harvest croton nuts, an abundant indigenous crop used to make biofuel and organic fertilizer. > (Clean Energy) Sikubora distributes pay-as-you-go solar home systems to remote communities in Tanzania. > (Clean Water) Saha Global sets up entrepreneurial women with a chlorinating business that provides clean water at affordable prices in rural Ghana. > (Jobs) Thread International provides income opportunities to poor plastic recyclers in Haiti and Honduras. > (Fair Trade) Vava Coffee pays smallholder coffee farmers in rural Kenya 50%+ above-market, fair trade prices for their specialty coffees. > (Education) ACTT refurbishes used computers to set up affordable computer labs in rural Tanzania. Unfortunately, social enterprises are unable to access the finance they need to scale. Microfinance institutions are equipped to deal with individuals not companies. Banks, impact investors, and multilateral agencies prefer larger loans because vetting early-stage social enterprises is costly. They are too big for microfinance, yet too small for traditional banking. On the other hand, there is is substantive growing interest in social entrepreneurship and impact investing. Graduate students and financial services professionals are eager to learn about and support social enterprises. They want to contribute more than just their money, they want to support enterprises with their time and skills. Crowdvetting harnesses the power of the crowd to reduce the cost of vetting social enterprises. Volunteers are given access to the same loan application materials that Kiva staff receive from prospective borrowers. They independently review the materials, ask questions, and submit a simple evaluation of the enterprise. The aggregated results are then used to prioritize the most needful applicants for Kiva’s consideration. Crowdvetting provides a radically scalable solution for individuals to support social enterprises with their skills. Through crowdvetting, graduate students and financial services professionals build deeper understanding of the challenges faced by bottom-of-pyramid populations. By crowdsourcing the vetting of loan applicants, Kiva can provide early-stage social enterprises access to 0% interest working capital loans. Crowdvetting makes it possible for social enterprises to access the capital they need to create opportunity for the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Who Benefits?

The primary beneficiaries of crowdvetting are social enterprises around the world (see examples of Kiva's DSE borrowers in attachments). Through crowdvetting, they will be able to access 0% interest working capital loans through Kiva, and in turn scale the impact of their work in local communities. Furthermore, volunteer crowdvetters (graduate students and financial services professionals) benefit by getting first hand experience in due diligence and learning about the innovative business models of early-stage social enterprises. Volunteers gain valuable professional experience by vetting and also better understand the challenges faced by bottom-of-pyramid populations.

How is your idea unique?

The Bridges Impact’s MIINT program leverages due diligence work from top tier MBA programs. It takes a year to complete and has one USD50k winner. It has successfully deployed USD150k in 3 years. Similarly, many others awards are powered by select volunteer judges and usually only one social enterprise can win each year. Crowdvetting is different because it is an open-platform, that works year-around, and allows for multiple proposals to be approved every month. Together with the DSE program, Crowdvetting has helped 16 social enterprises raise USD676k in under 10 months. The key advantage is Kiva’s ability to combine crowdvetting with crowdfunded capital. This capital is lent at 0% and is not return seeking. Its main goal is to achieve social impact. This allows Kiva to support what other investors would consider too risky or not profitable enough. Combined with crowdvetting, Kiva can provide social enterprises access to the capital they need to scale their impact.

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Prototyping: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing my idea.
  • Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.

Tell us more about you

Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. Kiva lenders crowdfund an average of $2.5 million in loans each week, creating a unique, renewable pool of funds that is reshaping access to financial services around the world. 100% of every dollar lent on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors. Kiva believes lending alongside thousands of others is one of the most powerful and sustainable ways to create economic and social good. Lending on Kiva makes it easy to touch more lives with the same dollar: Fund a loan, get repaid, fund another. When a Kiva loan enables someone to grow a business and create opportunity for themselves, it creates opportunities for others as well. That ripple effect can shape the future for a family or an entire community. Kiva started as a pioneer in crowdfunding in 2005, and is constantly innovating to meet people’s diverse lending needs. Whether it’s reinventing microfinance with more flexible terms, lowering costs to borrowers, or supporting the missing middle we are always testing and learning.

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

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Hi I'am Tracy jane resident at 808 NE 19th St Oklahoma City, I am a single mother blessed with 2 daughters. For a while now I have been searching for a genuine loan lender who could help me with a loan as I no longer have a job, all I got were hoodlums who made me trust them and at the end they took my money without giving me any loan, my hope was lost, I got confused and frustrated, it became difficult for my family to feed with a good meal, I never wanted to have anything to do with any loan lending companies on the internet again. Not until I met a God sent loan lender that changed my life and that of my family Through the help of a fellowship member "a lender with the fear of God in him Mr PETER WILLIAMS, he was the man God sent to elevate my family from suffering. At first I thought it wasn’t going to be possible due to my previous experience until I received my loan worth $135,000.00 USD in less then 24hours. So my advise to anyone out there genuinely in need of a loan is to contact Him through this official email:- Williampeter199@gmail.com OR WARSUPP at +233264866768 or text : +1(503) 773-9864

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What an incredible story in my life, I am Mrs Wilecia Berbana ,currently living in New York City, USA. I am a widow at the moment with three kids and i was stuck in a financial situation. Last two months i needed to refinance and pay my bills and some others serious debt. I was looking for a loan of $ 650,000.00 USD then I apply for a loan in one of the on-line loan company where i was scam about $3,800,00 usd in lending in the UK, but when I put the complain my good friend told me that the only place to get a loan on-line is CONSUMER LOAN FIRM the company is 100% guarantee that if I apply in a business loan I am to get the loan without any delay in the transaction, so i did, with a great fear in my heart not to loose money for the second time. My brothers and sister i want to let you know that there are still good people in the world we can trust and have faith on. With the advice of my friend in which I ask the company for a loan last week and to my greatest surprise i just got my loan yesterday. My hope and trust was all gone but now i new there are real loan firm we can trust. Am using this opportunity to inform you all that if you are in need of a loan, do not go else where so sick for a loan. i have found a real loan lender that can help you because he told me that the success of the societies is his pride i want you to sick for a loan in CONSUMER LOAN FIRM. Here are the company email: consumerloanfirm@gmail.com And i promise you that your life will never remain the same again, I will be waiting to hear your own testimony. Mrs Wilecia Berbana

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Team

What an incredible story in my life, I am Mrs Wilecia Berbana ,currently living in New York City, USA. I am a widow at the moment with three kids and i was stuck in a financial situation. Last two months i needed to refinance and pay my bills and some others serious debt. I was looking for a loan of $ 650,000.00 USD then I apply for a loan in one of the on-line loan company where i was scam about $3,800,00 usd in lending in the UK, but when I put the complain my good friend told me that the only place to get a loan on-line is CONSUMER LOAN FIRM the company is 100% guarantee that if I apply in a business loan I am to get the loan without any delay in the transaction, so i did, with a great fear in my heart not to loose money for the second time. My brothers and sister i want to let you know that there are still good people in the world we can trust and have faith on. With the advice of my friend in which I ask the company for a loan last week and to my greatest surprise i just got my loan yesterday. My hope and trust was all gone but now i new there are real loan firm we can trust. Am using this opportunity to inform you all that if you are in need of a loan, do not go else where so sick for a loan. i have found a real loan lender that can help you because he told me that the success of the societies is his pride i want you to sick for a loan in CONSUMER LOAN FIRM. Here are the company email: consumerloanfirm@gmail.com And i promise you that your life will never remain the same again, I will be waiting to hear your own testimony. Mrs Wilecia Berbana

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Team

We Offer Loans world wide from $10,000.00 to $100,000,000.00 with 3% interest rate.Anybody interested should email back with amount needed . If you are interested in obtaining a LOAN, do not hesitate to send your request to us via e-mail: (Williamspeter199@gmail.com) or WARSUPP me at +233264866768 or PH: +1(503) 773-9864

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I am private loan lender/officer based in GH. I am looking to connect with individual and companies in need of loan assistance World wide. I give out easy, fast and non collateral loans. Write back to now via email to apply,if you are in need or have not yet been credited with one, i can help. NOTE: Blacklisted can apply too. do not hesitate to send your request to us via e-mail:(Williamspeter199@gmail.com) or WARSUPP me at +233264866768 or PH: +1(503) 773-9864

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Do you need 100% Finance? I can service your financial need with less pay back problem that is why we fund you for just 2%. Whatever your circumstances, self employed, retired, have a poor credit rating, we could help. Flexible repayment over 2 to 20 years.Contact us at:monicafredcashloan@gmail.com

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Team

Are you looking for urgent loan? Look no further. Evergreen Loan & Investments Group is a company into pure loan and debt financing at ROI returns of only 1.8%. We can finance up to the amount of $50,000,000.00 (fifty million USD). Contact us for your instant loan process.
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Evergreen Loan & Investments Group

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We are Currently offering a floating loan scheme at interest rate of 2% with proper valid ID.
You can send your loan request for any amount of loan you need.
We offer loans ranging from $5,000.00 USD Min. $50,000,000.00 USD Max.
We long-term credit from five (5) to fifty (50) years maximum.
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Our company also need a person that can be our company representative in your country.
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If you are interested in our financial offer and wants to acquire a loan from us, contact us and give us the details below, and that will be needed to initiate the
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Purpose for Loan: _____________________
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In recognition of these details will be sent a well calculated Terms and Conditions including the agreement.

Thank you for your patronage!

Best Regards,
STEVEN WILLIAMS FINANCIAL LOAN FIRM
Email: stevenwills0001@gmail.com
Website: http://stevenwilliamsfinancialloanfirm.webs.com/
Facebook Page: Steven Williams

Photo of Teresa L-e
Team

I spent some time browsing the prototype for the Crowdvetting platform. What I appreciate about it is its underlying power as a learning tool for any stage enterprise looking to access a range of social funding sources. Since information is public, enterprises can look at other applicants and see how they answered certain questions related to social missions, how they structure their financials and funding terms, and ultimately see what can go into a more successful application. This information is difficult to access publicly or to understand easily if just given a set of documents- however the crowdvetting platform makes the application process easier to understand. This is a huge step in making access to finance easier for enterprises as sometimes just clarity on how to improve business operations and financial information better. Overall, the platform is one of the few 'data driven' interventions that directly responds to a reducing a costly procedure in accessing funding, that can have transformative value in tackling the SME funding gap.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Shreye,

It is great to see how this proposal is developing. The user journey for the project was very clear. Do you have any feedback from the students that were part of the pilot project that you can share, maybe some quotes etc.? It is great that you have a lot of beneficiary feedback below. Are these from people whose projects were part of the crowdvetting process or from the existing Kiva process? (If they were from the crowdvetting process, it might be worth collating the comments and adding them as an attachment so we can differentiate them from other comments on your idea submission).

For your optional questions, who would be the ideal people to answer them?

What types of working professionals are part of the second pilot program e.g. auditors, accountants, management consultants etc?

Do you have specific targets for the growth of the project e.g. x number of projects crowd-vetted in 2017 with an average of 1 project vetted by x number of people etc?

If that is not clear, please tell me.

Photo of Shreye Saxena
Team

Hi Kate, thanks so much for these great questions!

> Do you have any feedback from the students that were part of the pilot project that you can share, maybe some quotes etc.?
We have collected feedback from participants since our initial test with +Acumen and throughout the last 5 months while piloting with a few universities. We've invited them to share comments in their own words on this page, and also have uploaded a document with a subset of their consolidated feedback. Response has been very positive with 95% of participants wanting to vet again. We've heard from our users that the biggest point of improvement is to increase interactivity with Kiva staff and to provide ongoing updates on enterprises, so submitting an evaluation isn't just a "black box" to Kiva. A Q&A with a group of vetters from the Fletcher School at Tufts can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bf7bFrSnpLgHZbXpyowRK4NTYpgda68IKR2WeQ0Coh0/edit?usp=sharing. We will be testing ways to improve this part of the experience in our upcoming pilot with working professionals.

> Are these from people whose projects were part of the crowdvetting process or from the existing Kiva process?
We are still testing crowdvetting, so currently all enterprises must also pass Kiva's internal due diligence to be approved for a loan (from the comments below, Myles' and Jeff's enterprises have been through both processes and Sara and Vava examples of social enterprises that have needs that crowdvetting could help address). We have uploaded an example of how results from CrowdVet.org are currently used by our team to prioritize promising applicants in "CrowdVet.org sample result.pdf".

> For your optional questions, who would be the ideal people to answer them?
Feedback from those who have used crowds to make cognitive decisions would be immensely helpful in addressing our unanswered questions. We are also making use of external partnerships to explore these questions further: One of our team members will be at CSIS's Global Social Impact House (http://socialimpactstrategy.org/residential/gsih/gsih2017/) and we will also be receiving design support from Capital One's AdaptivePath (http://adaptivepath.org/). Our team believes the answers to these questions will emerge as crowdvetting grows and we get more data on the crowd's ability to successfully vet an enterprise. For example - by comparing crowdvetting results with how Kiva staff evaluated "borderline" loan applications, we saw early on that the crowd is relatively "risk averse" and inclined to reject borrowers that Kiva would approve. However, we have since seen the crowd (through their qualitative assessments) become more empathetic of the unique challenges that our borrowers face, and more receptive to "borderline" applications. As more applicants undergo crowdvetting, we will learn more if this decreased "risk aversion" is from experience that comes with repetitions of vetting over time.

> What types of working professionals are part of the second pilot program e.g. auditors, accountants, management consultants etc?
Approximately 30-40 financial services professionals from BlackRock will participate in a 6-week program starting mid-June. We will receive more information on their specific backgrounds in coming weeks and will reach out with that group's composition.

> Do you have specific targets for the growth of the project [...] ?
From our pilot data, we know that ~50 submitted evaluations for an enterprise will give a reasonable estimation of the outcome from a much larger crowd (the analysis for this has been uploaded in "Pilot data analysis.pdf"). So our target milestone is 50 votes per loan application, at our current cadence of posting one application per week for vetting . This milestone marks the point where our team shifts from having to recruit crowdvetters, to instead satiating our community's demand to vet enterprises. We are tracking to hit that milestone by the end of 2017.

Thank you again for your note, and please let us know if we can clarify further!

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Thanks Shreye Saxena !

The attachment with the beneficiary feedback is incredibly helpful and insightful in demonstrating how you are responding to user feedback. Something mentioned in the expert's comments.

I can see the bridge in the project but a few sentences clearly stating this would be incredibly helpful e.g.

This project bridges peace, planet, and prosperity because... specifying what is the peace, what is the planet etc. The prosperity is very strong but highlighting the solar projects funded or projects in conflict areas would be beneficial. Also, helping the vetters have a greater understanding of some of the projects and the people behind them is interesting and brings together people who might otherwise be connected.

I am tagging some people here with a crowd/financial background who might be able to provide additional feedback or are studying finance - Emanuele Musa Sacha R Uwe Schn Reed Mayfield Drew Crittenden Souhaib El Zoobi 

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Do you have any feedback from Vitalite  (recipient of +Acumen Crowdvetting Test) that you can share?

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Team

Dear Kate - We received funding from Kiva which greatly assisted us to purchase our pay as you go fosera solar home systems. VITALITE has been steadily growing in Zambia, and have been scaling up to new rural locations across the country. We are about to launch a new digital agro innovations programme with a number of partners which we believe will leverage our core solar energy offering to enable our rural farming customers to access quality training information and innovative financing to purchase agriculture inputs in advance of the rains - which we hope will significantly increase yields over time. Thank you for your interest in VITALITE and having us as a part of the crowdvetting test! If you want to keep track of VITALITE you can find us at vitalitegroup.com, or via facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VITALITEZambia/ Best regards, John Fay, Lusaka, Zambia, VITALITE Co-Founder

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Team

Kate,

I am glad that Vitalite was able to respond directly as to how they are doing.

I also had a chance to speak with John and in regards to Kiva's vetting/due diligence process he described it as "legitimate" without the "ridiculous questions" that are common in other due diligence exercises. For those, foundations or investors are trying to make the enterprise clear their check boxes and they do not emphasize the specific organization's trajectory.

John is unique because in the past he had a chance to work Senegal Ecovillage Microfinance (SEM, one of Kiva's first partners: https://www.kiva.org/about/where-kiva-works/partners/4 ). John was thus able to compare the Kiva Field Partner model with the Direct to Social Enterprise model that will pair with crowd-vetting. He described DSE model and its lack of intermediary as the "future of Kiva" where we are better able to connect borrowers and lenders.

Vitalite also provided feedback on the DSE operations and areas of improvement. Kiva looks forward to supporting and better serving social enterprises like Vitalite.

Photo of eldy wullur
Team

Usually a lot more access road will pass long and expensive cost, but you just give a shortcut ... Cheers

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Team

Hi Shreye and Team!

We’re excited to share with you feedback and questions from the BridgeBuilder team and an external set of experts. We encourage you to think about this feedback as you continue to improve and refine your idea. You are welcome to respond in the comments section and/or to incorporate feedback into the text of your idea. Your idea and all associated comments will all be reviewed during the final review process.

One expert shared: “I am excited about this new approach, I wonder about ensuring the quality of the experience as you grow and scale.”

When thinking about desirability, feasibility and viability here’s what experts shared:
• Desirable: A qualified yes (see below).
• Feasible: Yes but the challenge is to ensure that the vetters are qualified (properly vetted and/or trained) and monitored. How are you thinking building in accountability into this approach? Have you thought through the benefits and drawbacks of vetters being opened up to the general public. Another expert asked: “How will financial services firms assess the outcome of the crowd vetting, in making the final decision whether to finance competing proposals?”
• Viable: Yes.

Human-centered design starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their real needs. How does this idea consider user needs?
• Yes, would love to learn more specifics of how you will bake user-feedback into your growth strategy?

Outstanding comments and questions:
• Can you provide stronger articulation around how your idea bridges peace, planet and prosperity?

Thank you so much for sharing the important work you are doing!

In case you missed it, check out this Storytelling Toolkit for inspiration for crafting strong and compelling stories: http://ideo.to/DXld5g Storytelling is an incredibly useful tool to articulate an idea and make it come to life for those reading it. Don’t forget - June 16 at 11:59PM PST is your last day to make changes to your idea on the OpenIDEO platform.

Have questions? Email us at bridgebuilder@ideo.com.

Looking forward to reading more!

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Team

KIVA's initiative is a an excellent one and very user friendly. Being my first time receiving the financing from KIVA made me feel trusted and feel responsible. The Due diligence was fast and the staff at KIVA are alert at all times. Taking into account accessing loans has many challenges, KIVA solved my financial needs by a click with super quick diligence.

In my country its not easy to access finance due to lengthy and bureaucratic procedures. Livestock and finance to rural is almost non existence. Trading with the poor with no access to financing due to lack of infrastructures and security from the farmers makes the banks shun from extending loans to farmers. If it happens they do that then interests rates, processing fees, collateral requirements, spouse endorsements etc makes the process very complicated and at times not able to access the loans. There has reached a time that my Management is thinking seriously of managing Micro-financing so that the poor farmers are easily served. This idea mainly is a result of dealing with KIVA. KIVA gave me an insight through its processing and issuing. Its the best approach in terms of loan issuing as well as due diligence.

For me KIVA is not only adding value on the financing sector but gives me an opportunity to learn and manage people especially my poultry keepers.

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Team

Crowd vetting is a wonderful initiative! Having worked on the crowd vetting platform for the past 5 months, I can attest that it is helpful to both those doing the vetting and the enterprises alike. The platform allows for graduate students like myself to get real world experience doing due diligence on a plethora of companies. For the enterprises themselves, I think it is great not only because it helps to accelerate the review process (allowing for companies to receive capital at a quicker pace) but it also is an important first step for these small enterprises in learning how to put together the right materials needed to receive funding. The platform is easy to use while the team at Kiva is very responsive and great to work with. I look forward to continuing using the crowd vetting platform in the future and can't wait to see the impact that it will have in the coming months/years!

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Team

Shreye Saxena ! So great to see a familiar face on here :) I think this is a great idea! Feels similar to microloans and how they can help lower due diligence, but love the added crowdfunding aspect!. Can't wait to see more!

Photo of Dharan Chandrahasan
Team

Hi Shreye,

Crowdvetting is a brilliant initiative by Kiva. This approach widens the scope of opportunities we can address in the social enterprise sector. Moreover, the individuals doing the crowdvetting have an enriching educational experience by analyzing the social enterprise. One of the challenges that I see is ensuring the quality and consistency of the vetting process as the crowdvetters would come from different backgrounds. The other challenge would be to ensure that the vetters remain invested in the activity in the longer run!

All the best!
Dharan

Photo of Aparna
Team

Hi Shreye and Carlos,
Crowd vetting is an amazing initiative by Kiva. It is a great way for individuals to contribute and be a part of Kiva’s mission to create opportunities. I have vetted enterprises on this platform and it has been an enriching experience. I think getting participants and ensuring that they consistently vet is a challenge which Kiva will need to address. All the best team! Great effort!
Aparna

Photo of Daiki Tajima
Team

Hi Shreye Saxena 

I really enjoyed doing crowdvetting at KIVA as a Fletcher Social Investment Group (FSIG) activity. Before coming to the Fletcher School, I worked in the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, where I did the financial analysis and credit rating. I can say due diligence for social impact investment is quite valuable experience, since not only the financial numbers but also the social impacts, supply chain, KPIs, and others are important for it. Crowdvetting at KIVA provides a great experience for the graduate school students like me who are eager to contribute time and skills for social impact investment and would like to develop understanding and experience on it. I hope more and more people will involve in crowdvetting at KIVA and the Fletcher school students will definitely keep involving.

Best regards,
Taji
(Daiki Tajima)

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Team

Hi Shreye Saxena 

I think that this Kiva initiative is fantastic. If done well, it can be transformational and change the way we lend to SMEs, magnifying its impact significantly. I think the two big challenges are 1) making sure that quality of the vetting is in line with Kiva's risk guidelines and 3) we give crowdvetters a reason to go through this process and commit to an answer at the end.
Congrats on your work team!
Mafalda Rio

Photo of Carlos Pierre
Team

Thank you for your comment Mafalda and raising these two important issues of "quality" and "participation".

In order to address ensure the quality of crowdvetting, currently all companies that are vetted by the crowd are also vetted by Kiva's Portfolio Managers and Kiva's Risk Department. We make sure their feedback makes it back to crowd-vetters so they understand how Kiva approach each particular borower. Kiva must provide vetters with insight as to how Kiva is thinking about the balance of impact and risk. By improving the crowd-vetting interface and making it more interactive, we think we will be able to get them to deliver to Kiva's quality standards. Our hypothesis is that it takes about 5-10 vetting exercises and feedback cycles to get to a good level.

On the second issue, you raise an intersting point: why would vetters vote? In the initial tests, we got lots of grad students to visit the website, poke around, review application, but not votes. This was particularly true when the final question was phrased as: "If it were your money, would you lend it in this borrower?" From feedback sessions we realized that students did not want to get the "wrong" answer and preferred not to vote. The "Black box" nature of the first versions of the website got negative reviews. Now that we have more interactive conversations and encourage questions, vetters feel much more confident and comfortable stating their opinions. For example, we also changed the final question to "Should Kiva prioritize consideration of this enterprise's loan application". This help take the pressure off vetters and increased their voting rates.

I look forward to Crowd-Vetting becoming an experience that students and professionals want to highlight in their Linkedin profile. They could highlight the number of companies they have vetted, the country, regional or sector expertise they have developed, the amount of funds their votes supported and the repayment rate of their vetted portfolio. As we grow, we will also be able to add metrics to the social impact of borrowers and a crowd-vetting score that is a composite of the vetters activity on crowdvet.org

Photo of Adhish Patel
Team

Hi Shreye Saxena , A very interesting take on crowdsourcing. I am already a Kiva Lender and would love to be a part of the vetting community as well. Moreover, I see you are involving graduate students or financial students in the vetting process. Being a graduate student myself (with a financial understanding), I was thinking how you can collaborate with the University faculty members who teach VC Finance or Social Entrepreneurship. I am a student at NYU and would love to explore synergies.

In the meantime, all the very best for the efforts.

Best,
Adhish

Photo of Shreye Saxena
Team

Thank you for your thoughts, Adhish. We'd love for you to join as vetter! Our prototype crowdvetting platform is live at https://www.crowdvet.org/ and our team will continue to post enterprises for the crowd's review throughout the summer.

We've had interest from a couple professors in the Bay Area who want to use crowdvetting as a part of their courses, and hope to explore this further when we bring on student groups from 9+ universities this Fall. Please do send me a note at shreyes@interns.kiva.org and we can forward additional information on how students from NYU can join as part of that group!

Photo of eldy wullur
Team

Hi Shreye,
In every effort requires working capital. And this working capital becomes a new problem when borrowers are faced with local banks that provide high-interest rates, very short term and various additions cost such as administration fees, insurance, acceleration costs including 3 months installment already cut directly.
I hope your program can be expanded to Indonesia. If you can, just let me know .. Thank you.

Photo of Carlos Pierre
Team

Eldy, Kiva's Direct to Social Enterprise program does operate in Indonesia. While it does not have the 80+ country reach of traditional Kiva, it does operate in 25 countries.

The crowd-vetting solution on the other hand can have an even wider reach that traditional Kiva. There are no regulations preventing people from helping other people with their minds. We think crowd-vetting presents an incredible opportunity to harness local knowledge.

We look forward to expanding the crowd-vetting program with local universities and be better placed to support local entrepreneurs who are not connected to the impact investment community but are in fact having a big impact in their communities.

Photo of Miriam
Team

I have been a part of the due diligence pilot as a business student, and found the experience very valuable! Kiva has been a great organization to work with, and we have gained first-hand exposure to due diligence for social enterprises. As the pilot develops, it has been exciting to see how Kiva continues to streamline the process and improve user experience.

Photo of Kate
Team

I run Saha Global, a mid-size social enterprise that trains women entrepreneurs in rural Ghana how to open clean water businesses. Despite having a proven model that works, we had been struggling to find funding partners to help us grow in Ghana and expand our impact. We aren't a fit for traditional finance, but were too big for micro-finance. We recently partnered with Kiva through their Direct To Social Enterprise program and secured the capital that we need to jumpstart our expansion. This gap between traditional funding and micro-finance is a major problem that many social entrepreneurs are struggling with. The DSE program is meeting a need that would allow many other organizations to significantly increase their impact,

Photo of Evan McElhinny
Team

Thread was very excited to participate in the Kiva DSE program. The independent entrepreneurs that we partner with in Haiti have an extremely difficult time gaining access to low-interest capital in order to build out their businesses. As such, Thread started an independent microfinance fund in order to fill some of these gaps, but it was not nearly enough. Kiva's DSE program has helped us expand that program beyond what we normally could have done on our own. Our hope is that, with Kiva's help, we will continue to be able to fill these gaps for the entrepreneurs we work with for years to come.

Photo of Jeff
Team

Greetings, Our company Sikubora, is based in Tanzania. We sell a high quality solar home system to off grid Tanzanians. Our customers lives are changed dramatically as a result. Each room in their homes is lighted, outside lights offer heightened level of security, and the are connected to the outside world with a low energy LED TV. However the only factor that makes this purchase affordable to our customers is our extended 36 month payment plan. This service however puts a huge working capital strain on our business. Despite building in procedures whereby 99.5% of our customers pay us on time, we can't get a business loan to grow our business. This metric is far superior to all the credit card companies around the globe and we would easily qualify for a loan from the western banking sector. That is yet to be the case in Tanzania. The banking sector is still developing here and raising business capital is extremely hard if next to impossible to source here. Kiva has stepped up through their DSE program to start to bridge a huge missing piece between energy poverty and energy access in places like sub Sahara Africa. They are truly a pioneer in this space. Our Kiva loan is the bridge between another 100 families gaining access to energy. Thanks Kiva.
Best,
The Sikubora Team

Photo of Vava
Team

We are extremely happy beneficiaries of the DSE Kiva program. As a young woman running a social enterprise in one of the toughest industries - Coffee it has been an extremely ardous process trying to access affordable, time efficient capital. In as much as the maximum amount is the $50k and we were trying to raise more, the loan from DSE has enabled us to access international markets we have been trying to tap into without much success due to a shortage of working capital and when we have applied for loans from local banks , the requirements have been ridiculously out of reach for a company like ours which has grown organically for the past 8 years - high interest rates, collateral we do not have amongst other hurdles women in Africa encounter while trying to access finance. Kiva has been a great lender and partner and we appreciate the monthly follow ups and on ground visits they have been able to arrange with us as it keeps us focused and in check and we feel that we have or are working with people that care about the success of our business. I have run this enterprise for 8 years and we have suffered through expensive bank loans or other long arduous processes from impact investors who are simply about returns not looking at the actual impact to the smallholder farmer. We love the fact that Kiva has focused on impact we have to that smallholder coffee farmer and not just lending us money because of a good return. Personally I would love for our organization to keep working with Kiva and other like minded organizations that can support and lend to upcoming hungry, energetic young entrepreneurs especially here in Africa therefore giving us a chance to fulfill our dreams in transforming the agricultural landscapes of our respective countries.

Vava

Photo of Habiba Ali
Team

Sosai RE Company was very fortunate to get access to the DSE loan from Kiva and this is not the first support from Kiva ever. I know how Kiva works and I would love to support kiva in making its work easier. I think and believe that the Crwovetting would be a wonderful IDEA.especially if it allows for Kiva to support Entrepreneurs to a larger volume than they currently are. The riskiest assumptions are that p[eople may not pay back but with crowd vetting and differing people working on a loan document, this can be countered.
This would have been helped if the local banks had agreed to support Local entrepreneurs. but with interest rates going as high as 35% and payment periods ranging from 3-6months the entrepreneurs will only be indebted to the lenders for the rest of their lives.
This is a real problem and to ensure sustainable growth and development Kiva loans need to be supported to a high extent.
I look forward to the day Kiva would be able to advance an entrepreneur like myself with Lonas of about $500,000 so I can further loan entrepreneurs who work with me.

Photo of Myles Katz
Team

As a Kenyan-based recipient of a Kiva DSE loan earlier this year, I can personally attest to the value the program brings to innovative, early-stage social enterprises in developing countries. We have been a business for over 5 years, and despite desperate attempts we only managed to secure a loan from a local microfinance bank for a maximum of about $20k USD at an interest rate of 20%, almost prohibitively expensive. Kiva's team was very easy to work with for their DSE loan, and it was funded via their platform in about one week and the money was efficiently disbursed - something I cannot say confidently about other social investors and definitely not about any local bank. The interest-free financing is incredibly helpful and crucial to help us prove out our high-impact, innovative business model and attract additional capital necessary to bring our business to scale.