Kiva is on the verge of funding $1 billion in life-changing loans to people around the world. This is the first in a two-part series tracing Kiva’s path from nonprofit startup to nonprofit unicorn pushing the boundaries of lending.

There’s a persistent, toxic myth that people living in poverty don’t want to work, that they don’t dream of and strive for more, and that their lives are to be pitied.

But anyone from these communities, or anyone able to take time to travel and connect, knows nothing could be further from the truth.

The wealthy don’t have more feelings of joy and pride. The wealthy don’t have sole claim to being industrious or creative. People everywhere share these traits, and people everywhere want an opportunity to make a decent living and achieve their dreams.

We all just need an opportunity and people to believe in us along the way.

That concept is at the heart of everything Kiva does, and it’s what brought together a band of idealistic 20-somethings in 2005 to create Kiva. Read the story of how Kiva evolved from a startup to a global force for good at our Medium page>
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