Jessica Jackley, co-founder of the microfinance lending website Kiva.org, has written a book on finding inspiration from entrepreneurs helped by the organization. In ‘Clay Water Brick,’ Jackley chronicles her journey of creating Kiva.org at a time when crowdfunding was virtually unheard of. Jackley created Kiva.org after traveling to Africa for a non-profit, where she met numerous budding entrepreneurs, who had little in the way of material positions but did have big dreams about their own possibilities. What Jackley discovered was that many of these individuals could grow their businesses with just a small amount of money. ‘The individuals I met wanted to lift themselves out of poverty. They didn’t want a donation to do that, they wanted a loan,’ said Jackley. ‘Kiva has grown dramatically over the past ten years. We’re nearing $750 million in loans, in little $25 bits, from people all over the world that come to the website, lend that money to an entrepreneur in need, a specific individual, and then over time get repaid,’ said Jackley. She expects crowdfunding will continue to grow. ‘It’s been really exciting to see the world get more comfortable with what it takes to participate in crowdfunding,’ said Jackley. ‘I think things are going to be moving more quickly, I think we’ll see more mobile crowd funding applications.’
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