World's First Microlending Website Accelerates Global Lending Movement
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - October 17, 2007 - From increasing its total loan portfolio to more than $13 million to reach 20,000 entrepreneurs in developing countries, to an invitation to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, to an endorsement by President Clinton in his new book, "Giving," Kiva.org marked its two-year anniversary today in a very big way. Its second year of unprecedented growth has affected an exponentially growing number of lenders and entrepreneurs and received support from more than 130,000 individuals around the globe, including President Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.
"Through Kiva.org, people around the world can become micro-bankers to developing world entrepreneurs," said President Clinton. "[These are people] who have their own ideas, so we can give them a chance to raise their kids with dignity, send their kids to school, and in troubled places like Afghanistan, we can marginally increase the chance that peace can prevail, because people will see there is a positive alternative to conflict."
Kiva.org, which built the first and fastest-growing online microlending platform, enables individuals to connect with developing world entrepreneurs in 39 countries through small business loans of as little as $25. By combining microfinance with Web 2.0, Kiva.org has created a way for the average individual to make a real difference in the life of an entrepreneur halfway around the world; you no longer need a Bill Gates-sized budget to have a Bill Gates-style philanthropic investment portfolio!
In only its second year of operation, Kiva.org has achieved the following:
- Facilitated loans of over $12.5m to 19,250 developing world entrepreneurs (to date totals are over $13m to 20,000 developing world entrepreneurs from 130,000 lenders.)
- Received support from President Clinton, through inclusions in his new book "Giving," and interviews with Greta van Susteren (FOX) and Keith Olbermann (MSNBC.)
- Appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show with President Clinton (9/04/07.)
- Partnered with 48 microfinance institutions in 27 countries, including first-ever partnerships in Iraq and Afghanistan (to date totals are 62 partners in 39 countries.)
- Received support from Kellogg Foundation, Draper Richards Foundation, DOEN Foundation and Halloran Philanthropy.
- Attended the 2007 Brookings Blum Roundtable, the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, and won The Tech Museum Awards 2007 Economic. Development Award Laureate and the World Summit Award 2007 for e-Business.
- Received press coverage from news organizations including ABC World News, CNN, BBC, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Today Show, TIME Magazine and BusinessWeek.
Why is Kiva.org so successful?
Kiva.org has created a simple, yet extremely effective way for the average individual to make a real difference in the life of a person in the developing world, for just $25:
- Connections: Kiva.org's website allows lenders to choose the individual they would like to lend to, providing a photograph and description of each entrepreneur and their business loan needs. "I love the feeling of connection I have to the people to whom I lend money via Kiva.org. I support these people wholeheartedly in their daily struggles to meet the needs of their families," says Kiva Lender Glenda Denniston of Wisconsin.
- Transparency: Kiva Field Partners update lenders on the progress of each loan through repayment notifications and business journals that provide updates on the successes and difficulties being encountered by the entrepreneur.
- Accountability: Kiva.org regularly verifies the use of loan funds through the participation of auditors, Kiva Fellows and Kiva Staff visits. By committing to 100% transparency of the use and placement of loan funds, Kiva.org enables a greater level of accountability of contributions, even to the extent that Kiva Lenders have visited recipients of their loan funds in country.
Kiva.org (www.kiva.org) is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world. Founded in 2005 by Matt and Jessica Flannery, Kiva.org's mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. Kiva.org currently connects lenders in more than 50 countries with entrepreneurs in 39 developing countries, through 62 microfinance partners. Kiva.org is headquartered in San Francisco.