Kiva.com is perhaps the best example of microlending in the world. According to the organization's website:
"Kiva is a global organization and seeks to provide working capital to entrepreneurs all over the world. Poverty exists in every country, including the United States, and Kiva hopes to address poverty wherever it exists."
Does this mission sound a little similar to the economic development profession?
This week (the second week of June), the microlending website has facilitated microloans for over $600,000 (generally in $25 increments), added more than 4,700 new lenders and placed a loan, on average, every 27 seconds.
How can Kiva help your community? Well, imagine if entrepreneurs in your community had access to capital with the speed and efficiency of the internet? Would that help them with working capital, investing in inventory, paying suppliers and to do other things that entrepreneurs do?
We are all looking for ways out of the recession. Perhaps Kiva has found a way out for thousands of entrepreneurs around the world.
To read APM's Marketplace Kiva story, click here.