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Kiva.org: a transparent, web-based microfinance system
series: Going Beyond Web 2.0
7 February 2008
George E. Pake Auditorium
Non-profit Kiva.org provides a data-rich, transparent lending platform for "peer-to-peer" microfinance. By enabling people to connect with and make personal loans to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world, Kiva.org is revolutionizing the fight against global poverty. Users aren't donors to general funds, but lenders in a process based on mutual respect and trust. Kiva.org's microfinance approach allows lenders to see exactly who their money goes to, what the recipients are doing with it, and how it is making a difference. In this talk, Premal shares how Kiva.org rapidly grew to become the most trafficked site in microfinance. He will also share how Kiva.org constantly works to make the online system more transparent.
As President, Premal leads Kiva.org's efforts to scale its partnerships and member base. Prior to Kiva.org, Premal was a Principal Product Manager at PayPal, an eBay company. During his 6 year career at PayPal, Premal drove a number of key initiatives including a year long project defining eBay's role in economically empowering the global working poor. A number of corporate initiatives have come out of this effort, including PayPal's support of Kiva.org. Prior to PayPal, Premal was a strategy consultant at Mercer Management Consulting in New York. Premal has had a long standing interest in microfinance. In 1997, he was awarded a grant from Stanford University to research microfinance in Gujarat, India. More recently Premal co-founded the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network and spent 2 months in India working to refine / validate Kiva.org's model. In 2006, Premal was a featured speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative and Global Microcredit Summit. Premal graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University.
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