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.
March 2, 2009 4:21 PM
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
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.