Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kiva and Web 2.0

Few weeks ago I attended the "United Nations Meets Web2.0 and ICT Entrepreneurs" meeting. The meeting was organized by the Global Alliance for ICT and Development of the United Nations. There were some interesting contributions to various sessions on how Web 2.0 is being used in development and one of these struck out: Kiva (http://www.kiva.org/). The site works as a broker between the haves and the have-nots. It was started in 2005 and to date to provide micro-loans. As a lender, you can browse through the various profiles, choose a project you would like to support and lend money to, and then make a loan! Once this is done, throughout the course of the project, you should receive regular updates and at the end receive the money back. This, of course, you can invest in a new project! As expected, there are both macro and micro level risks. The current default rate is 0.3%.

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