Project

Kiva: Microlending for Americans as well

Great news and an indication that we acknowledge that poverty is poverty the world around. According to the Kiva website:

“Today Kiva got a little closer to its mission of connecting people around the world for the sake of alleviating poverty. Starting today, lenders can make loans to microentrepreneurs in the US.

When Kiva first started, it focused on lending to entrepreneurs in Africa. In the last 4 years we have expanded to many more regions around the world, focusing in developing nations. However, our desire has always been to be a truly global organization, and to allow individuals anywhere in the world to make loans anywhere else in the world. Kiva believes that poverty exists in many forms throughout the world and that we can play a part in helping alleviate that poverty by allowing people to lend through our website.

Therefore, to be a truly global organization, Kiva is expanding into microfinance markets in the developed world. Since over 70% of our lenders are currently from North America, the United States was a natural first choice. We know there is much more to be done to fully achieve our mission of connecting people throughout the world, but we are very excited about this first step. We look forward to the day when money is flowing in all directions around the world through Kiva: a Guatemalan woman making a loan to an entrepreneur in Detroit, a man in Uganda making a loan to an entrepreneur in Rwanda, and an Italian lending to a Filipino farmer. We are excited about these possibilities and look forward to seeing them become a reality.”

Me too, Kiva. I am most definitely excited by this possibility as well.
And I am not sure how significant this is, but notice the breakdown below of the lending groups in Kiva, at least the top two.

ScreenHunter_01 Jun. 10 10.28

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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