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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
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Jessica Jackley Flannery and her husband, Matt Flannery, started Kiva just a few years ago. Today, the Internet-based lending platform has allowed over 60,000 people around the world to channel nearly 6 million dollars in loans to small businesses in developing countries. In this audio interview with host Sheela Sethuraman, Jessica talks about her inspiration for starting Kiva and her vision for Kiva's future.
Kiva works with microfinance institutions to identify small businesses in need of money, and then gives people an easy way to make loans to these small businesses. With a quick click, lenders can find out how their loans are affecting their chosen small businesses. Jessica's own work in rural Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania helped her understand the challenges and opportunities in creating Kiva. She talks about early users, the power of the Internet in building new communities, and the advantages of starting an altruistic technology company in Silicon Valley.
Jessica also addresses some of the typical issues facing entrepreneurs everywhere, especially those in the social sector. How does one measure impact? How can one sustain and nurture growth? How does one continue to address the double bottom line? She has tips for social entrepreneurs everywhere about getting their ideas off the ground, finding mentors, securing funding, and building a team.
Jessica Jackley Flannery, co-founded Kiva with her husband Matthew Flannery. Jessica has worked in rural Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda with Village Enterprise Fund and Project Baobab on impact evaluation and program development. Earlier, she spent three years in the Stanford Business School's Center for Social Innovation and Public Management Program, where she helped launch the inaugural Global Philanthropy Forum. Jessica has also worked at Potentia Media, the International Foundation, and World Vision International. She also serves on the board of directors for New Creation Home Ministries, on the advisory board for Stanford FUSION -- Future Social Innovators, and the International Child Resource Institute's Africa Advisory Board. Jessica holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Bucknell University. She is currently pursuing an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.