In April 2004, Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley start work on an initiative they call Kiva. Kiva is an online lending platform that allows individuals in the developed world to loan to small business people in the developing world. In its first year, the site featured a spinach farmer in Cambodia, a hot dog stand man in Nicaragua, a carpenter in Gaza, a bee keeper in Ghana, and a fish seller in Uganda. Behind each of these businesses lies a story.
According to Matt:
« These stories are at the heart of Kiva’s goal and strategy: the human connections we build between lenders and borrowers have brought new lenders to the microfinance movement, and foster in them a new awareness and connection to the people who briefly use their money » Read more about Kiva history here
KWS 2014 Speaker : Cynthia Mcmurry
More than 10 years later, we are proud to receive Cynthia Mcmurry in Montréal, to cover the following topic during the KWS conférence at Usine-C on October the 3rd 2014. As Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Cynthia is responsible for overseeing Kiva’s loan portfolio in the region and managing the regional team responsible for monitoring partners, conducting due diligence and implementing Kiva’s risk and social performance strategies. Cynthia has been working at Kiva for more than 5 years in various roles, including several years of field work in South America. Originally from Minneapolis, she has a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish from Tufts University
Topic: Crowdfunding as a tool to alleviate poverty and create opportunities
Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. Since its launch in 2005, Kiva has connected more than 1 million lenders with more than 1 million borrowers around the world and has facilitated nearly US$600 million in loans to individuals in 75 countries through its website, www.kiva.org. Cynthia will explain how Kiva’s unique, crowdfunded capital is being used to reach excluded and underserved individuals across the globe. She will also explore future opportunities to leverage technology to promote financial inclusion at the base of the pyramid.