Matt and Jessica Flannery were newlyweds working in East Africa when they came up with the idea for Kiva. According to Matt, $10 million in loans have been made through the organization—and 99.7 percent of the money has been repaid!
Matt says it takes about 1.5 days for the average entrepreneur to receive funding for a project through the website. "We use PayPal, who provides us free payment processing," he says. "People loan through PayPal through Kiva, and we wire that money directly to the field partner that gives it to the entrepreneur." Learn more about Kiva.org.
Jessica says she and Matt were first inspired by seeing entrepreneurs in East Africa doing great things with their families with small amounts of money. "It's their shot. And they just soar. They take it and they run with it," she says. "So to see so many borrowers, to know that that's happening with thousands of individuals because of Kiva, but also to know that other people can be connected and participate in the stories the way that we were."