Similar idea as Grameen Bank, Kiva is a microfinancing firm that lends small amount of money to the entrepreneurs in the poor countries.
Since Japanese cultural background does not seem like to be understanding the concept of investing their money like a business and helping others at the same time, in which process people think just giving money as a volunteer look more perceptually virtuous, it’s growth is overly slow.
Started on September 2, 2008, Kiva Japan project only has 32 team members and total amount loaned for 675 dollars. Compared to Kiva Christians, which started around the same time and that has 3827 team members and more than a million dollars invested, it seems to be a rough start.
What needs to be done is to get the word spread out. In Japanese Internet system, people usually using computer all the time are very responsive with what other “opinion leaders” within the community, so using it will give a blast in the marketing/PR on Kiva Japan. Advertising does not do anything to the users anymore, so it is important to have someone who has credibility toward the crowd do it.
It could be a rough path for Kiva international, but as long as they keeptrying in a right way, there will be a light.