Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe. Kiva combines technology with social issues in a way that allows mass participation in facilitating solutions. It allows grass root support for the financing of social alleviation projects and has generated extraordinary excitement and more than $100 million in small online loans that are reimbursed if the donor requests such an outcome.
“What bummed me out was that microfinance is such a great tool to alleviate poverty and that there is a shortage of capital -- but that there is no way for the average guy in the U.S. to invest in microfinance.”
Premal Shah serves as the President of Kiva Microfunds. Prior to Kiva.org, Mr. Shah served as a Principal Product Manager at PayPal, an eBay company. Prior to PayPal, Mr. Shah was a Strategy Consultant at Mercer Management Consulting in New York. Mr. Shah co-founded the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network and spent two months in India working to refine validate Kiva.org's model. Mr. Shah serves as a Director of Kiva Microfunds. He serves as a Member of Technology Advisory Board of RelayRides.
Kiva president Premal Shah explains how creating lending teams made funding microloans more fun and increased the site's re-lending rate. "The top two teams right now are the Atheists and the Christians, and they're competing against each other," says Shah.