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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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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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How does Wikipedia Make Money?

Have you ever wondered why wikipedia doesn’t have any advertisements? Or possibly you have noticed when trying to add or edit an existing wikipedia page that it is never kept, but is always restored back to its regular settings? Maybe, it hit you one day just how huge wikipedia is and how much information the site holds.

The most outstanding part of all of this is it is free. So how does a site with no advertisements, a vast amount of data to manage and host on servers, and a staff that is constantly filtering and editing the online encyclopedia stay in business? In other words how does wikipedia make money?

wikipediaThe simple answer is this. It doesn’t. Wikipedia is a non-profit site run by the The Wikimedia Foundation. Just because wikipedia is non-profit thought doesn’t mean it still doesn’t need funding. So where does wikipedia raise it’s funds?

The Wikimedia Foundation mostly raises money through public donations. It also receives a small portion of its funds through small corporate sponsorships. Wikimedia will run raise the majority of its funds through 3-4 intensive fund raising efforts throughout the year.

The money that is raised by the Wikimedia Foundation mostly goes to buy new servers and keep the site running. But what else does the Wikimedia Foundation support? While Wikipedia is The Wikimedia Foundation’s bread and butter site, they also support a number of other wiki sites.

Each of the above sites are supported and funded by The Wikimedia Foundation and can be explored in greater detail by visiting the wikimediafoundation.org. The Wikimedia Foundation site also allows you to give donations to the above sites.

I don’t know about you, but I am going to check out some of the other wiki sites. Wikipedia is the 4th most visited site in the world! The creators of such a site must have done some good work for their other sites as well.

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Facebook Apps and Money

Many developers are heading towards Facebook applications with hopes to find a goldmine.  Everyone knows money can be made on facebook, but how much are companies able to make?

The amount a company can make is largely based on how their revenue stream is set up.  Most applications make money in the following ways:

  • Advertising
  • Selling services
  • Selling virtual goods

According to some blogs, recent aquisitions value ad-based companies at approximately $1.40 per active user.  So ad-based companies need a large user base in order to become a developer’s “goldmine”.

One type of revenue stream that is making money is selling virtual goods.  Virtual goods, especially in the form of online video games (i.e., Mob Wars) are starting to pan out for developers.  A game called (fluff) friends allows you to buy fancier pets and options with real money.  In (fluff) friends, they average over $1 per month per average user, with some users spending hundreds, or even thousands on their pets.

Overall, the most popular facebook application pulled in $1.5 million over a 5 month period.  Compared to MySpace’s estimated $800 million a year, facebook applications are hardly making any money.

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How does Facebook make money?

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg announced finances for the privately held company, projecting $300 – $350 million in revenue.  Facebook is currently breaking even, but Zuckerberg plans to spend $200 million on servers next year.  The large increase in server costs would give Facebook a negative cash flow. 

So how does Facebook make $300 million dollars in revenue?

  • Advertising
  • Facebook Gifts
  • Selling information

Its somewhat obvious that a lot of money can be made by advertising, and with 150 million active users, gifts will add up.  I’m assuming these two items make up the majority of the revenue, but there is another source of income that most Facebook users are not aware occurs.

In Facebook’s privacy policy, they have the right to sell your information to other companies.  This means that Facebook has become one of the largest source of marketing information for the 30 and under demographic.

The first half of the following video does a great job at explaining how Facebook sells your private information.  Personally, I would ignore the second part of the video (supposedly Facebook is a government consipracy to spy on you!)

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