Kiva.org - the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website - enables individuals to lend to developing world entrepreneurs. Loans made through Kiva.org have averaged a 0.7% default rate over the past 12 months, 4.03 percentage points lower than US Credit Card charge-off rates and 4.04 percentage points lower than US Credit Card default rates(1).

Despite the current credit crisis, which has prompted a cutback in loans, Kiva Lenders have never felt more inspired to lend to developing world entrepreneurs. "My recent loans to a Cambodian pig farmer, Azerbaijani clothing seller, Bolivian cheese maker, and others have been repaid in full," said Katie Pool, a Kiva Lender. "The only interest paid by Kiva borrowers to me is a better world. In today's financial climate those dividends make me feel like a millionaire."

This October, Kiva Lenders loaned a record $3.6M USD, the highest loan volume for any single month. Growth on Kiva.org in 2008 indicates that lenders are prepared to give throughout the economic downturn.

"People are looking for ways to contribute without making a significant impact on their pocket book," Premal Shah, Kiva.org President says. "Kiva.org lenders often choose to reinvest their initial $25 loan because they were able to witness the impact it made on an entrepreneur. Because investing in community is one of the most cost-effective ways to fight poverty, Kiva.org is seeing continued lending growth despite the tightening economy."

In the three years since its founding, Kiva.org has raised over $49M USD in loans made to more than 110,000 developing world entrepreneurs. The majority of loan recipients are women. On average, one loan was made on Kiva.org every 22 seconds, raising $1M USD every 10 days, from January to October 2008. During this same time period, a new user joined Kiva.org every three minutes on average, resulting in a 92 percent net increase of users in 2008. Kiva.org expects to achieve a cumulative portfolio total of $100 million by the end of 2009.

About Kiva.org
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, Kiva.org's mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. Kiva.org currently connects lenders in more than 100 countries with entrepreneurs in 41 developing countries, through 88 microfinance partners. Kiva.org is headquartered in San Francisco.

(1) Federal Reserve Board, 6/30/08

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