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Metlife partners with crowdfunding platform

Metlife partners with crowdfunding platform

Metlife UK has announced that it is working with non-profit crowdfunding platform Kiva with the aim of helping to support businesses and individuals worldwide as part of its support for financial inclusion.

Kiva enables people to lend as little as £16 to help create opportunities and tackle poverty through a worldwide network of microfinance institutions currently in 86 countries.

Metlife added that staff using the crowdfunding platform can choose to direct their £16 loan to a range of initiatives including businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as people funding education. Loans are distributed through microfinance institutions in the borrower’s country with a repayment rate of 98 per cent.

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The initiative is open to Metlife’s employees across 26 markets in its Europe, Middle East and Africa region has been funded by the group’s charitable organisation, Metlife Foundation, which is committed to building financial inclusion.

Altogether, the foundation is investing £129m over five years with the goal of impacting the lives of more than 2m people, Metlife said.

Dominic Grinstead, managing director, Metlife UK, said: “This exciting new partnership is a simple and effective way to make a difference to the lives of thousands of entrepreneurs and their families around the world.

“It is being enthusiastically supported by our staff as it is a real opportunity to get involved and help in countries that often do not have formal financial services of any kind.”

Premal Shah, Kiva’s president and co-founder said: “Metlife was founded on a simple and powerful insight, that everyone needs access to the right financial tools to pursue more from life.

“We are proud to be a part of Metlife’s efforts toward that vision. Through this partnership, they are backing the dreams of thousands of entrepreneurs around the world, expanding financial access and empowering their employees to take part directly in that mission.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com