Leverage technology, build community and create solutions to change lives across the globe. 

1.7 billion people around the world do not have access to the financial services they need and face critical challenges when it comes to achieving financial gains and opportunities. Services as simple as, opening a bank account, applying for a loan or accessing insurance become impossible, limiting people's abilities to provide for their families and their communities. 

That's where Kiva comes in. Kiva is a social impact organization with a mission to expand financial access to help underserved individuals and communities thrive. In partnership with local lending institutions over the past 15 years, we've crowdfunded microloans to over 3.5 million borrowers in more than 90 countries around the world. We also build secure, open-source infrastructure connecting government identity systems with financial services and payments infrastructure. 

We are hosting this pilot annual hackathon to bring together students, companies, and social impact leaders to focus on how we might better use technology to scale access to capital for small businesses, farmers, students, and entrepreneurs around the world.

Join our movement for equitable financial access, and contribute by solving challenges that range from digital identity and infrastructure to risk management and loan impact to cognitive bias within crowdfunding communities.

We are driven by a shared vision of a world where all people hold the power to improve their lives. Elevate your impact, join people from diverse backgrounds and fields and bring your innovative thinking and contributions to solve these critical challenges.

About Kiva:

Kiva Marketplace - Crowdfunded microloans that change lives

Kiva.org is a digital marketplace where individuals can lend as little as $25 to create opportunities for people around the world. In partnership with a global network of local lending institutions, Kiva.org provides loans for more than 3.5 million entrepreneurs and others in need. We work closely with our lending partners to develop a deep understanding of the economic needs of underserved communities and to create opportunities to invest in their lives.

Kiva Protocol - Digital infrastructure for inclusive financial systems

The 1.7 billion adults worldwide who are financially excluded may have years of exceptional credit history outside traditional financial institutions. Because this history is disconnected from the bank down the street, large populations overpay for credit and are denied access to the formal financial sector, keeping them vulnerable to financial shocks.  Kiva seeks to break this cycle with a decentralized digital identity platform empowering borrowers to verify informal and formal past financial history. With just a thumbprint, users will be able to record their financial transactions, transfer that information between institutions, and gain access to formal bank accounts.

Hackathon Problem Statements:

Kiva is an organization with many departments and areas of expertise that operate together to further its mission of poverty alleviation and financial inclusion.  We have created the following list of problem statements for your inspiration as you brainstorm your project idea.

Borrower reach - How can we help our partners reach more borrowers?

Borrower visibility - How can we provide better tools for our partners to showcase borrowers and their stories?

Credit history - How might we help borrowers build a credit history?

Fundraising - How might we help our partners efficiently raise additional funds?

Fund distribution - How might we optimize fund distribution to borrowers?

Risk management - How might we provide operational support to partners to balance portfolio risk?

Digital identity - How might our open source digital identity tools be used to create new opportunities for people around the world?

Cognitive bias - How might we remove bias from loan selection?

Borrower connections - How might we build better connections with borrowers?

Loan impact - How might we show the impact of the loans?

Lender engagement - How might we provide more engaging experiences to our lenders?  How do we connect with new lenders?




This is a hackathon where we encourage people of all backgrounds and expertise to participate, regardless of technical experience.  Although encouraged, your project does not necessarily have to contain code if it can make up for a lack of functionality in other ways, such as a thorough thought process or excellent design for example.  See our judging criteria for more details and how it may affect your final score.

Other Requirements:

If it contains code, the project must be open source under the following license: Apache 2.0 - https://opensource.org/licenses/Apache-2.0

Include a text description that should explain the features and functionality of your Project.

Include a demonstration video of your Project. The video portion of the submission:

    • should be less than three (3) minutes
    • should include footage that shows the functionality of the Project
    • must be uploaded to and made publicly visible on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook Video, or Youku, and a link to the video must be provided on the submission form on the Hackathon Website

Hackathon Sponsors


$10,000 in prizes

First place

Awarded as a direct cash prize to the first place winning team.

Second place

Awarded as a direct cash prize to the second place winning team.

Third place

Awarded as a direct cash prize to the third place winning team.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Meg Busse, she/her

Meg Busse, she/her
Chief Operating Officer

Padmashree Koneti (she/her)

Padmashree Koneti (she/her)
Chief Operating Officer

Eric Asmar (He/Him)

Eric Asmar (He/Him)

Ayaire Cantil-Voorhees (she/her)

Ayaire Cantil-Voorhees (she/her)
Data Director

Malu Parthasarathy

Malu Parthasarathy
Product Manager

Alexandra Cannon

Alexandra Cannon
Product Design and Marketing

Albert Lie (he/him)

Albert Lie (he/him)
Fractional Engineering Lead

Ali Zhagparov (he/him/his)

Ali Zhagparov (he/him/his)
Software Engineer

Rihana Mungin (she/her)

Rihana Mungin (she/her)
SEM Coach

Judging Criteria

  • Impact
    Would Kiva be able to make use of this project in a real world context to achieve its mission of poverty alleviation and financial inclusion?
  • Innovation
    Does the product introduce an interesting approach or perspective to a particular problem, technical, analytical or visual?
  • Functionality
    Does the product function as intended? It is robust and easy to interact with?
  • Presentation
    Does the design of the product enhance the functionality of the product? Does it communicate its message and intentions clearly?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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