Campaign overview

Kiva, an online lending platform connecting lenders to entrepreneurs, has helped women access over 3 billion in loans to fund their businesses throughout the past decade and half. In early 2020, Kiva came to Hotwire with the goal of showcasing their strong legacy in funding women and women entrepreneurs (80% of Kiva’s loans have gone to women) to stand out on International Women’s Day. With less than a month to go, Hotwire was tasked with helping Kiva cut through the cultural conversation and busy media moment on #IWD2020 to generate awareness and ultimately drive Americans to loan to women on Kiva’s platform.

What we did

Hotwire dug into the cultural conversation and found while the term “Girl Boss” was being widely used as a term to represent a successful woman, it resulted in mostly stereotypical content depicting laptop-wielding women, co-working spaces and matcha lattes. In reality, a successful woman means much more, and Kiva represented and helped them all. Hotwire developed a campaign around the statement “A powerful woman is…” – redefining what a powerful woman represents in 2020 in a world of #GirlBoss and highlighting the diverse and empowering women across the Kiva platform.

To highlight Kiva’s unique point of view on women entrepreneurship and celebrate the amazing stories of powerful women on the platform and beyond, Hotwire worked with ten diverse and empowering female influencers to share their answers to the statement “a powerful woman is…” and create new social content, brought to life by an artist. Giveaways and tracking links encouraged community participation across social.

Local media and consumers were invited to a press conference supported by the mayor in Oakland, where a new Kiva hub had recently opened to continue the brand’s successful work in supporting local female entrepreneurs. This was followed by an activation at local festival First Friday, where attendees were encouraged to fill in a banner with the statement “A Powerful Woman Is…”, to receive a $25 Kiva gift card. Finally, an earned media campaign led by Hotwire distributed the news nationally and locally, profiling lenders and business owners on the Kiva platform.


Through an integrated, digital-first strategy and within only a month of working together, Hotwire helped Kiva raise $4.2 million to fund over 37,000 women on Kiva’s platform. Hotwire’s media strategy secured 48 pieces of coverage across online, broadcast and influencer channels, ultimately generating 1,400 new users signing up to the Kiva platform. Kiva declared it their best year ever.

“We briefed Hotwire to support us in cutting through the noise of International Women’s Day to help continue Kiva’s ongoing work of funding female entrepreneurs and small businesses across the world. We had a short timeframe but were impressed with the teams’ creativity to develop an integrated idea that would allow us to utilize channels including social, digital, PR and experiential to drive tangible success for the business. It was one of our most successful years to date, with over $4m raised to fund over 37,000 women and a spike in new users to the platform.”

– Henrique Saboia, VP of Growth, Kiva

Global reach.
Local flavour.