- Of the 28 partners that Kiva lists currently, only 5 are from Latin America.
- Compared to some of the Eastern European partners, they are not very active. I see once in a while a loan appear from Prisma in Honduras (but nothing in Nicaragua), and I see regularly loans from Mifex (Ecuador) and Admic (Mexico). Where are the other MFI's? FVP (Mexico), Fundación Adelante (Honduras), Prisma Nicaragua, where have you gone?
- Where is the rest of Latin America? I can't imagine that the existing MFI's in Brazil, Guatemala, Perú, Colombia, Bolivia, to name a few, are all set.
- Are there any other reasons that MFI's cannot or don't want to "hook up" with Kiva? I can think of several reasons why not:
- Currency import and export restrictions (Bolivia, Venezuela, other countries as well probably). I know that exporting US Dollars is prohibitive in Venezuela, where according to local regulations individuals can only take US$10,000 per year out. The process for businesses to apply for a money-export-license is prohibitive as well...
- Increased overhead for micro-loan administration because of Kiva reporting requirements. I don't think that this is a valid argument-- microloans are administration-intensive by nature, due to extra due diligence that is needed due to the lack of collateral. Also, many MFI's have a social chapter (business counseling/advise, assistance, group loan events, etc.) into which Kiva should well fit.
- Access to cheaper funds. Possible if the MFI is backed by a large charitable fund from which it can draw no-cost or very low-cost loans. That'd be a good problem to have, but also-- not very likely.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Kiva activities in Latin America
On The Kiva Chronicles blog, a commenter remarks that there are very few Kiva investment opportunities in Latin America. This is true: