Kiva’s New Frontiers: The Intersection of Technology, Innovation and Poverty Alleviation
Kiva launched onto the scene six years ago disrupting the world of microfinance by leveraging technology. In doing so, Kiva pushed the boundaries of international development. Six years later over $300 million has been lent to over 780,000 borrowers, with an average repayment rate of 98.9%. Kiva continues to pursue its mission of connecting people to enable financial inclusion for underserved and isolated populations in 60 countries around the world, including the United States.
Premal Shah first began dreaming of “internet microfinance” while working at PayPal, the online payments company. In late 2004, Premal took a 3 month leave from PayPal to develop and test the internet microfinance concept in India. When he returned to Silicon Valley, he met other like-minded dreamers and quit his job at PayPal to help bring the Kiva concept to life and eventually to scale. Kiva today raises over $1 million each week for the working poor in 50+ countries and was named a Top 50 Website by TIME Magazine in 2009.
For his work as a social entrepreneur, Premal was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and selected to FORTUNE magazine’s “Top 40 under 40” list in 2009. Premal began his career as a management consultant and graduated from Stanford University.