015: Johnny Price of Kiva Zip

Listen this week to hear how Johnny Price flips the lending industry on its head as the Senior Director at Kiva Zip.  Kiva Zip is a microfinancing nonprofit organization that makes 0% interest loans for small businesses doing good things.  Kiva Zip is a branch of Kiva which was started in 2005 and has grown to lend over half a billion dollars to a million borrowers from a million lenders.  Kiva Zip was launched in 2011, and is different from Kiva in that it focuses on connecting lenders and borrowers by allowing direct loans to borrowers.  Johnny dives deep into the Kiva Zip model and shares about creating loans that benefit lenders in more ways than just money.  The direct lending approach of Kiva Zip encourages lenders to become customers and advocates for the small business while also expanding the access to loans for other worthy small businesses.  Kiva Zip does not use traditional financial metrics to determine if businesses qualify for a loan, but grants loans based on various  social performance factors.  Kiva Zip goes further to disrupt the industry as they do not charge interests on loans that would typically be considered high risk and require a higher interest rate.  Infact, 23 percent of the O% interest loans are given to companies that are less than a year old.  Johnny talks about his transition to Kiva after spending years doing strategic management in London.  He wanted to do something where he felt like he was making an impact, and found that Kiva was a great organization to use capital to give others the opportunity to make there own social change.

Microfinance, social underwriting, financial literacy and other ideas discussed by Johnny in this interview will be recurring themes throughout our podcasts as we feel they are all VITAL to the social change movement!  

Show Notes

  • What is a book we should all read?

  • What is the best piece of advice you have ever recieved?

    • Don’t focus on focus too much on the large scale, focus on producing for the next phase.

  • What is your favorite tech tool to use to grow Kiva Zip?

    • Ez Texting for SMS messaging to communicate easily with borrowers and lenders.

  • What is the first thing we can all start doing to change the world?

    • Participate in social change instead of just reading or learning about it.

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  • Margaret Price

    Insightful interviewing style leading to a great discussion on how to empower people to get out of poverty. Just help!

    • Joshua Schukman

      Thank you so much for the response Margaret! Jonny is a great dude - and I was so glad to have him on the show!