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Kiva Loans Capital to World's Poorest

Kiva.org is an innovative non-profit organization that takes entrepreneurs from some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world and essentially gives them the capital to start their own business.  Kiva uses their website as a marketing tool, a weblog, and a means by which members can monitor how much money they’ve lent and to whom.

One aspect of Kiva.org that I believe is a very useful marketing tool is their “Community” tab.  Kiva allows members to join various “Lending Teams” and pool the money they’re lending together towards whatever cause or dogma they uphold (i.e. Kiva Christians, Team Obama, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender, Team Europe, etc…).  Each respective team is ranked against other teams by how much money they’ve raised.

I like the way Kiva’s purpose is to help the poor by creating virtual VCs in order to create accountability, and their site does an excellent job of turning the cause of raising money into a competition between various regions, belief systems, and (in the case of GLBT) sexual preference.

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Kiva Extends Loans To American Entrepreneurs

For awhile, Kiva existed as a internet company which allowed people from all over the world to lend entrepreneurs in third wold countries money to startup their businesses. The loans ranged anywhere from $500 to over $1000 dollars, with the money being provided by many different people, usually at around $25 a person.

Recently Kiva owner Matt Flannery has decided to extend the loan service to those living in America also. This is in response to criticism by many people who ask why Kiva is helping all these underprivileged entrepreneurs in other countries yet ignoring the people who are trying to do the exact same thing here in America.

However, there are also some people who threw heavy criticism at Kiva for doing this albeit for another reason. They believe that the company should only be helping people in other countries, and that trying to help people in America as well spreads the money too thin.

Time will tell whether this move will be good or bad for Kiva.

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Round of Applause for Kiva.

Total value of all loans made through Kiva:$127,153,360
Number of Kiva Users:689,241
Number of Kiva Users who have funded a loan:438,704
Number of countries represented by Kiva Lenders:194
Number of entrepreneurs that have received a loan through Kiva:320,050
Number of loans that have been funded through Kiva:177,921
Percentage of Kiva loans which have been made to women entrepreneurs:82.31%
Number of Kiva Field Partners (microfinance institutions Kiva partners with):111
Number of countries Kiva Field Partners are located in:54
Current repayment rate (all partners):98.47%
Average loan size (This is the average amount loaned to an individual Kiva Entrepreneur. Some loans – group loans – are divided between a group of borrowers.):$396.63
Average total amount loaned per Kiva Lender (includes reloaned funds):$184.66
Average number of loans per Kiva Lender:5.37

Congratulations Kiva! Your doing it! All the statistics look good and I bet you are giving opportunities to many thousands of less-fortunate entrepreneurs world-wide. But there are a few statistics to consider. There are 689, 241 users of Kiva and there are roughly 8,000,000 million just in New York City alone. In addition, out of those 689,241 users, 438,704 users funded a loan. Finally, there are 320, 050 entrepreneurs to receive loans. Hypothetically speaking, what if the whole of New York City, in addition to the 438,704 Kiva users already loaning, loaned 25$ a piece? Wait. Do the math. Yea, the potential is incredible. Don’t stop there Kiva!

http://www.kiva.org/about/facts

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City

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Kiva – is it really globally feasible?

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.

kiva japan

It could  be a rough path for Kiva international, but as long as they keeptrying in a right way, there will be a light.

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Another look at Kiva

When I look at Kiva, I’m reminded of all of those commercials that show the needy malnourished children in Africa and other countries that are in desperate need of donations from us. I think that this website is a great idea. It’s so nice to be able to help out those that are in need, even when we may not have known they were in need.

I wander though, how they determine who is worthy of our funding? They say that they use experts to determine the entrepreneurs that are in need. I wouldn’t want my money going to fund some secret drug cartel, or smuggling enterprise in another country though. I do trust a company that is this big and has this much publicity though.

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