In 2005, Jessica Jackley and cofounder Matt Flannery had started San Francisco-based Kiva because during a three-month work assignment in East Africa, Jackley had met Ugandan entrepreneurs and wanted to share their inspirational stories with friends and family. Soon thereafter, Flannery and Jackley launched Kiva, the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, with a mission to “connect people through lending for poverty alleviation.”
Throughout Kiva’s founding and history, Jackley, the spirit behind the organization, and Flannery, the CEO, stayed true to their original mission of connecting people and providing entrepreneurs with dignity and respect. A desire to tell the authentic stories of these entrepreneurs inspired Kiva’s founding, and this spirit of storytelling pervaded the entire organization, whether through the founder’s story, lender stories, entrepreneur stories, or fellow stories.
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