SOURCE: Kiva Microfunds

October 17, 2007 14:09 ET

Kiva.org: One of the Fastest-Growing Non-Profits in History Marks Second Year of Exponential Growth

World's First Microlending Website Accelerates Global Lending Movement

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - October 17, 2007) - From increasing its total loan portfolio to more than $13 million to reach 20,000 entrepreneurs in developing countries, to an invitation to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, to an endorsement by President Clinton in his new book, "Giving," Kiva.org marked its two-year anniversary today in a very big way. Its second year of unprecedented growth has affected an exponentially growing number of lenders and entrepreneurs and received support from more than 130,000 individuals around the globe, including President Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.

"Through Kiva.org, people around the world can become micro-bankers to developing world entrepreneurs," said President Clinton. "[These are people] who have their own ideas, so we can give them a chance to raise their kids with dignity, send their kids to school, and in troubled places like Afghanistan, we can marginally increase the chance that peace can prevail, because people will see there is a positive alternative to conflict."

Kiva.org, which built the first and fastest-growing online microlending platform, enables individuals to connect with developing world entrepreneurs in 39 countries through small business loans of as little as $25. By combining microfinance with Web 2.0, Kiva.org has created a way for the average individual to make a real difference in the life of an entrepreneur halfway around the world; you no longer need a Bill Gates-sized budget to have a Bill Gates-style philanthropic investment portfolio!

In only its second year of operation, Kiva.org has achieved the following:

--  Facilitated loans of over $12.5m to 19,250 developing world
    entrepreneurs (to date totals are over $13m to 20,000 developing world
    entrepreneurs from 130,000 lenders.)
--  Received support from President Clinton, through inclusions in his new
    book "Giving," and interviews with Greta van Susteren (FOX) and Keith
    Olbermann (MSNBC.)
--  Appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" with President Clinton (9/04/07.)
--  Partnered with 48 microfinance institutions in 27 countries, including
    first-ever partnerships in Iraq and Afghanistan (to date totals are 62
    partners in 39 countries.)
--  Received support from Kellogg Foundation, Draper Richards Foundation,
    DOEN Foundation and Halloran Philanthropy.
--  Attended the 2007 Brookings Blum Roundtable, the Clinton Global
    Initiative annual meeting, and won The Tech Museum Awards 2007 Economic
    Development Award Laureate and the World Summit Award 2007 for e-Business.
--  Received press coverage from news organizations including ABC World
    News, CNN, BBC, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Today
    Show, TIME Magazine and BusinessWeek.
    

Why is Kiva.org so successful?

Kiva.org has created a simple yet extremely effective way for the average individual to make a real difference in the life of a person in the developing world, for just $25:

--  Connections: Kiva.org's website allows lenders to choose the
    individual they would like to lend to, providing a photograph and
    description of each entrepreneur and their business loan needs. "I love the
    feeling of connection I have to the people to whom I lend money via
    Kiva.org. I support these people wholeheartedly in their daily struggles to
    meet the needs of their families," says Kiva Lender Glenda Denniston of
    Wisconsin.
--  Transparency: Kiva Field Partners update lenders on the progress of
    each loan through repayment notifications and business journals that
    provide updates on the successes and difficulties being encountered by the
    entrepreneur.
--  Accountability: Kiva.org regularly verifies the use of loan funds
    through the participation of auditors, Kiva Fellows and Kiva Staff visits.
    By committing to 100% transparency of the use and placement of loan funds,
    Kiva.org enables a greater level of accountability of contributions, even
    to the extent that Kiva Lenders have visited recipients of their loan funds
    in country.
    

About Kiva.org

Kiva.org (www.kiva.org) is the world's first person-to-person microlending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world. Founded in 2005 by Matt and Jessica Flannery, Kiva.org's mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. Kiva.org currently connects lenders in more than 50 countries with entrepreneurs in 39 developing countries, through 62 microfinance partners. Kiva.org is headquartered in San Francisco.

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