Home » Finance » Loans

People Helping People

Jun 7, 2008
Microfinancing is loaning small amounts of money, but during the past few years these small loans have become big business. Until recently, Matt Flannery had never heard of the term microfinance, but it was something that would soon change the lives of people all over the world. He and his wife, Jessica, started Kiva to put poor people in touch with private lenders.

Microfinance is a concept that was started by Muhammad Yunus, an economics professor in Bangladesh. Living in such a poor country, he saw the need to loan people as little as $50 to help them get on their feet with a small business. Banks don't make such loans, and these people have no collateral.

Muhammad Yunus founded the Grameen Bank to help fund these microloans, and for his efforts, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. In 2004, Jessica Flannery saw an announcement from Stanford University that Yunus would be in town to speak one Wednesday night, so she convinced her (then) fianc Matt to attend with her. The decision would change their lives forever.

In 2004, Matt was working as a software developer for TiVo. Microfinance was a word he'd never heard, but he decided to attend the Stanford event for Jessica's sake. After hearing Yunus speak, both Matt and Jessica knew they had something to contribute to the world. They didn't have a clear idea yet what that would be, but they brainstormed for a year before Kiva was finally launched.

During the first year of their marriage, Jessica spent several months in Africa. Matt decided to join her, and he was amazed at what he saw. It's common for Americans to get million dollar loans to start a business, but in the poorest parts of Africa, people need more like $100. With this money, they can become seamstresses, open bicycle repair shops, or provide food with a small retail store.

People are the same throughout the world. We talk about the "American Dream" to provide for your family and have a comfortable life, but it's really a universal dream. Being an aspiring entrepreneur himself, Matt saw this drive in the people of Africa. It moved him to want to help them somehow.

One night back in America, Matt and Jessica were tired of brainstorming, so they jumped at the opportunity to build a website. They had heard so much negativity from people, but they knew Kiva would be something in which they could take pride.

Today, www.Kiva.org is a phenomenal success. People around the world can apply for a loan, and individuals can lend as little as $25 to help them reach their goals. Profiles are set up, and stories are followed. When the loans are paid back your money can come back to you or be loaned to someone else. Over the past two years, Kiva's loans have totaled over $25 million to over 250,000 people. Now that's success!
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 165
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources