Jessica-jackley Jessica Jackley is co-founder of Kiva.org, the world’s first peer-to-peer on-line micro-lending website. Kiva.org allows internet users to lend as little as $25 to entrepreneurs in the developing world, providing affordable capital to start or expand a small business. In just three years Kiva has helped raise over $84 million and connected thousands of people across 120 countries. A graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Jackley’s work has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

These are some of Jessica’s comments at the 2009 Leadership Summit when she was interviewed by Jim Mellado:

  • I grew up in a home where my mom and dad thought I could do anything and I was crazy enough to believe them.
  • It was in Sunday school that I first heard that Jesus said, “…even as you have done unto the least of these you have done it unto me.”  I was captivated by the idea that I could do something of ultimate significance.
  • I started interviewing entrepreneurs who lived in East Africa that started their businesses on $100 and I was blown away by their success. i began to wonder how I could participate in their success.
  • Since launching Kiva.org four years ago $84 million have been loaned to entrepreneurs in under-resourced places around the world; and that number will surpass $100 million in the next year.
  • Mission of Kiva.org: Connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.
  • It all started with seven entrepreneurs and $3000.00 in loans.
  • Remarkably, 98.5% of lenders get a full repayment.
  • At Kiva.org we believe that people want to do good.  We also believe that if we act in a way that expects you to be trustworthy it is likely you will respond in a trustworthy manner.
  • “Great poets show, they don’t tell.”  Show people how they can give and what a difference it can make and don’t tell them.
  • When you truly believe in the potential of people, the rest of the solution to any problem is just logistics.
  • Two pieces of advice for young leaders:
    • #1 Don’t be afraid to start small.  The best way to create big change is to start small.
    • #2 Just start.  Don’t wait.  Take action.

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