We are honored and excited to announce Neville Crawley as Kiva’s Chief Executive Officer.
Neville brings nearly 2 decades of experience in global business and technology ventures, most recently as CEO of Quid, a platform that analyzes the world's collective intelligence to help answer strategic questions.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Kiva and have the greatest respect and admiration for the good that the entire Kiva community has created,” Neville said. “As I start my work here, I bring a passion and desire to do my part to deliver ‘loans that change lives’ on the biggest possible scale and with the maximum impact.”
Neville’s connection with Kiva’s mission is rooted in his own journey – a small gift as a teen enabled him to purchase his first computer and changed the trajectory of his life. He used that computer to channel his creative interests and start his first business producing music, videos and other visual arts projects.
He went on to become the first in his family to graduate from college and charted a unique and varied career guided by curiosity and the pursuit of work with a mission.
Neville spent 8 years of his career living and working in developing countries, including Malaysia, Nigeria, China and several countries in the Middle East. While living in China, he published the China Economic Review, China's premier business analysis magazine.
He received a small loan to allow him to launch the magazine business, and recalls that some of the first purchases he made with the loan were shoes and a tie so he could present himself as a professional. Through all of his entrepreneurial ventures, he learned to be scrappy and resourceful.
“The small business experience is that you do everything yourself and it’s pretty raw,” Neville said. “If you don’t make payroll, you are out of business so you find ways to get it done.”
Neville later worked for a company focused on helping small businesses tap into online communities, enabling him to learn about the unique needs of a wide range of small businesses.
During 4 years as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, Neville traveled extensively and honed his finance skills working with governments on financial restructuring projects. He also conducted focus groups in Nigeria with low-income families and witnessed the profound impact of access to capital, this time through mobile phones and mobile banking.
Seeing the impact of access to financial services in Nigeria was one of the defining moments that led Neville to Kiva. Another moment that crystallized his desire to help create a more equitable world was the birth of his daughter.
Holding his new baby girl at a hospital in Manhattan, he was struck by how fortunate he and his wife were to have access to everything they needed to bring her safely into the world and care for her. He thought about the many places he’d traveled and lived where that was not the case for many families.
“It was truly heartbreaking to me to think of people going through this moment of having a child in completely unsatisfactory conditions,” Neville said.
As Neville settles into his new role at Kiva he is prioritizing getting into the field to meet with borrowers and Field Partners.
In Kiva, he sees a community and a platform that has proven out Kiva’s initial bet made 12 years ago: that strangers are willing to lend small amounts of capital to people around the world to help them pursue their dreams and improve their lives.
Now, he is excited to see how Kiva can unlock even more opportunity for the 2 billion people around the world still living without access to formal financial services.
“There is idle capital sitting in many people’s bank accounts, meanwhile there are other people in the world where access to that idle capital could change their lives,” Neville said. “If we can crack that and make that resonate with more people, it will be massively transformational.”
He sees Kiva’s role as helping “move people on the curve” to help boost them upward, whether by helping them to establish a credit score, getting the first bit of financing for a business or allowing them to scale their business and eventually access more formal banks.
“Part of Kiva’s mission is being on the frontier of finance, where people and social enterprises can gain access to the first rung on the financial ladder, lift themselves up with the help of Kiva’s lenders, and then eventually access more formal financial services,” Neville said.
We are excited to have Neville onboard as we work to expand that frontier every day.