Micro-finance - Kiva
Kiva is a non-profit organisation that uses lending to alleviate poverty around the world.
Using the internet, Kiva allows individuals to loan as little as $25 to people who then use it to build opportunities for themselves. Kiva then distributes the money to the borrowers through a global network of field partners.
As such, the Kiva model is an example of micro-finance - a term that is used to describe financial services to individuals with a particularly low-income or those without access to typical banking services. As a concept, this approach is based on the understanding that individuals, if given access to financial services, are capable of lifting themselves out of poverty.
Examples of what the money may be used for includes tools for farming, goods for selling and vehincles for transport.
Since it's establishement, Kiva has raised $502,569,325 in loans, received funding from 1,019,630 lenders and has funded 1,185,031 borrowers (December, 2013). And, according to Kiva, micro-finance in total supports nearly 200 million people globally.
Established November 2005 as a Non-Profit in San Francisco, CA.
Kiva's main source of funding is aquired through lenders making donations through the organisation's website, although money is also raised through grants, corporate sponsors, and foundations.