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About the project Edit

Kiva's mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the Internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending. As of November 2009, Kiva has facilitated over 0 million in loans. It is a non-profit organization headquartered in San Francisco, supported by loans and donations from its users and through partnerships with businesses and other institutions. Kiva was founded in October 2005 by Matt Flannery and Jessica Flannery. The couple's initial interest in microfinance was inspired by a 2003 lecture given by Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus at Stanford Business School.

Kiva allows microfinance institutions around the world, called "Field Partners", to post profiles of qualified local entrepreneurs on its website, Lenders browse and choose an entrepreneur they wish to fund. Kiva aggregates loan capital from individual lenders and transfers it to the appropriate Field Partners to disburse to the entrepreneur chosen by the lender (but see Borrowers not the ones chosen through Kiva site). As the entrepreneurs repay their loans, the Field Partners remit funds back to Kiva. As the loan is repaid, the Kiva lenders can withdraw their principal or re-loan it to another entrepreneur. Currently, loans made through have a 98% repayment rate.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Kiva is the first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur across the globe. By enabling people to connect with and make personal loans to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world, is revolutionizing the fight against global poverty. Users aren't donors to general funds, but lenders in a process based on mutual respect and trust.'s microfinance approach allows lenders to see exactly who their money goes to, what the recipients are doing with it, and how it is making a difference.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

By allowing individuals to make loans to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world (microfinance), they provide affordable working capital for the poor (money to buy a sewing machine, livestock, etc.), empowering them to earn their way out of poverty.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Loans are channeled to entrepreneurs in 45 countries around the world, including small businesses in the United States.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

2004: Matt Flannery & Jessica Jackley start working on Kiva and in 2005: Kiva is Founded as a non-profit. A blog about Kiva is featured on Daily Kos, and in a matter of hours all loans listed on Kiva are funded. Matt Flannery leaves his job at Tivo.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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