Kiva founder to talk on entrepreneurship for Assembly Series

Jessica Jackley understands the power of the personal connection. She discovered it while visiting East Africa to conduct impact evaluation surveys for Village Enterprise Fund. At the same time, her husband, Matt Flannery, was in the field filming interviews with small business entrepreneurs. When they saw firsthand the life-changing power of micro financing, they devoted themselves to creating their own program.


That program is Kiva, which grew from a small personal project to one of the world’s largest micro finance facilitators, connecting budding entrepreneurs with millions of dollars in loans from hundreds of thousands of lenders around the globe.

Jackley will deliver the Assembly Series/Skandalaris Lecture at 5 p.m. Sept. 17 in Simon Hall’s May Auditorium.

The lecture also is the kickoff event for the Skandalaris Center’s annual business plan competitions: the Olin Cup, and the YouthBridge Social Entrepreneur and Innovation Competition.

In March 2005, seven loans were posted on for a total of $3,500. Recipients included a goat herder, a fishmonger, a cattle farmer and a restaurateur. Six months later, every loan had been repaid.

Last November, Kiva reached the $50 million mark in loans; in December, another milestone was reached with a record $3,827,400 of loans facilitated in one month.

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, call 935-4620 or visit