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The Business of Giving

Exploring philanthropy, non-profits and socially motivated business, from the Gates Foundation to your donation. A fresh look at the economy of good intentions.

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March 2, 2009 4:21 PM

Questions for Kiva.org co-founder and CEO Matt Flannery

Posted by Kristi Heim

On Wednesday, I'm planning to interview Kiva.org CEO and co-founder Matt Flannery.
If anyone has a question for him, please send it to me or post in the comments and I'll try to include it.

When I first wrote about Kiva in 2006, it had just completed 116 loans. Today it has helped fund 88,869 loans for a total of $62 million. No wonder Flannery thinks about the potential for individual lending to challenge the traditional banking model.


GARY REYES/SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

Matt Flannery (right) co-founder of Kiva.org, with company President Premal Shah (left) in San Francisco.

In fact, one microlending site backed by eBay offers better rates than banks. Even though Kiva does not offer interest to lenders, last year it had a rare problem in the non-profit world: too many people willing to help. Kiva had many more lenders than borrowers.

Flannery writes about his experience as a social entrepreneur here, including trying to understand the implications of a rapidly morphing global financial crisis on his business. I'm curious about the potential for expansion of Kiva to U.S. borrowers and to small or medium-sized enterprises.

Flannery is coming to Town Hall on Thursday to discuss microcredit as a means of poverty eradication, how technology helps that process, and Kiva's plans for the future.

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