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Kiva Offers Free Loans to Women Entrepreneurs

Creatas/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Kiva is offering 4,000 free loans to women borrowers in celebration of International Women’s Day. connects lenders to mostly low-income entrepreneurs and families around the world for “micro-loans” of as little as $25. Kiva lenders receive the amounts they lent without interest at a repayment rate of 98.91 percent, according to the non-profit organization.

Over 1 billion people live in extreme poverty, 75 percent of whom are women and girls, Kiva said, and women produce half the world’s food, but own only 1 percent of the world’s farmland.

Kiva said skin-care company Dermalogica will provide free trial loans to the first 4,000 registrants, allowing lenders to make a loan of $25 free of charge.

These 4,000 free trial loans are disbursed to borrowers in the same way other loans are disbursed on Kiva, headquartered in San Francisco. However, since Dermalogica is funding the free trial, any repayment funds from the free trial loan will go back to Dermalogica, not to the free trial lender.

Kiva lenders are usually paid back their loan in a manner of months from a loan recipient whom they choose on the Kiva site.

“New lenders invited during the promotion dates may use their own funds to make a loan, in which case repayments will go back to the lender,” Kiva said.

Since Kiva was founded in 2005, it has arranged $291 million on loans to 698,064 people in 61 countries. In 2009, Kiva made its lending network available to borrowers in the U.S.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio