Jessica Jackley on Poverty, Money...and Love
Susan notes: Thanks to TED for making TED Talks downloadable and embeddable, and for providing the biographical information that goes along with them.
What do you think of people in poverty? Maybe what Jessica Jackley once did: "they" need "our" help, in the form of a few coins in a jar.
The co-founder of Kiva.org talks about how her attitude changed -- and how her work with microloans has brought new power to people who live on a few dollars a day.
Jessica Jackley is the co-founder of Kiva.org, an online community that helps individuals loan small amounts of money, called microloans, to entrepreneurs throughout the world.
Seven years ago, Jessica Jackley heard a speech by Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus, an economist from Bangladesh who had developed the idea of microcredit: loans offered to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans.
Kiva uses a peer-to-peer model in which lenders sort through profiles of potential borrowers -- be they a farmer in Cambodia, a pharmacist in Sierra Leone, or a shopkeeper in Mongolia -- and make loans to those they find most appealing. The minimum loan is $25, and the interest rate is 0%.
The repayment rate for loans is more than 98%, Jackley says, and since the group was founded almost 700,000 people have pledged $128 million in loans to more than 325,000 people. Jackley's latest project is ProFounder, a new platform that helps small businesses in the United States access startup funding through community involvement.