Since it’s founding four years ago, it has now made possible $100 million in microloans between individual lenders and entrepreneurs all around the world. The company has brought together 573,000 lenders (people like you and me putting in $25 or more towards a specific project), and 239,000 entrepreneurs.
Most of the entrepreneurs who benefit are in developing countries, but Kiva opened up its service to needy U.S. entrepreneurs last summer. It also has APIs for other developers to build on its data set.
Kiva creates a personal connection between lenders and recipients. Each entrepreneur has a profile page with a picture and description of what they plan to do with the loan. Then every month you get an update on how much of the loan has been repaid.
Photo by Kiva.