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STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS – In 2005, Jessica Jackley and cofounder Matt Flannery had started San Francisco-based Kiva.  The organization was born because during a three-month work assignment in East Africa, Jackley had met Ugandan entrepreneurs and wanted to share their inspirational stories with friends and family. Flannery and Jackley launched Kiva, the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, with a mission to “connect people through lending for poverty alleviation.”

Throughout Kiva’s founding and history, Jackley, the spirit behind the organization, and Flannery, the CEO, stayed true to their original mission of connecting people and providing entrepreneurs with dignity and respect. A desire to tell the authentic stories of these entrepreneurs inspired Kiva’s founding, and this spirit of storytelling pervaded the entire organization, whether through the founder’s story, lender stories, entrepreneur stories, or fellow stories.

Read a Stanford Graduate School of Business Case that describes this unusual organization.

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Also on Stanford Knowledgebase:

  1. Entrepreneurs Arise from the Ranks of Jacks-of-All-Trades
  2. Should Charities Ask For Time Before Money?
  3. Generalists Succeed as Entrepreneurs

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