IONS Directory Profile

Biography

Jessica Jackley Flannery is a co-founder of Kiva.org with her husband Matt, and the spirit behind the organization. Jessica first saw the power and beauty of microfinance while working in rural Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda with Village Enterprise Fund and Project Baobab on impact evaluation and program development. Jessica has worked in a variety of organizations in the public, nonprofit, and private sector, and serves on numerous boards in the Bay Area. Jessica has spoken widely on microfinance and social entrepreneurship, and has seen microfinance at work in more than 30 countries worldwide. Jessica holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Bucknell University.

Info on Kiva:

Kiva.org is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva.org is creating a global community of people connected through lending.

Kiva.org's mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva.org was born of the following beliefs:

* People are by nature generous, and will help others if given the opportunity to do so in a transparent, accountable way.
* The poor are highly motivated and can be very successful when given an opportunity.
* By connecting people we can create relationships which exceed beyond financial transactions, and build a global community expressing support and encouragement of one another.

Kiva.org promotes:

  • Dignity: Person-to person lending encourages partnership relationships as opposed to benefactor relationships. Partnership relationships are characterized by mutual dignity and respect.
  • Accountability: Loans encourage more accountability than donations where repayment is not expected.
  • Transparency: The Kiva.org website is an open platform where communication can flow freely between the developing and developed worlds.

Kiva.org democratizes philanthropy, allowing the average individual to feel like a mini-Bill Gates by building a portfolio of investments in developing world businesses.

Kiva.org expects to have facilitated a total of $100 million in loans by end 2008.

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