Thursday, August 06, 2009

Leadership Summit: Session 4 Jessica Jackley and

Note: I'm at a satellite location in Ocean Grove New Jersey USA ( attending the Leadership Summit ( Even if you don't use twitter, you can see my postings It seems that #tls09 is too much traffic on twitter, so I'm blogging here.

Jessica Jackley: co-founder of

About Kiva:

  • Anyone can contribute to this micro-capital financing enterprise
  • Formed in 2005
  • Global
  • Mission: connect people through lending to eliminate poverty
  • Has financed $83 Million US Dollars
  • Microlending website - has little overhead. Minimum $25 investment
  • on track to finance $100M in US$ by 2010
  • has helped 200,000 entrepenuers in 83 countries

About Jessica:

  • Parents convinced her that she can do anything
  • Started journaling at age of 5
  • First Leadership Summit while in college - had a mini-summit each year with dad
  • From Pittsburg PA - Orchard Hill Presb. Church
  • Passion for fighting extreme poverty came from Church in Sunday School: Jesus said the poor will always be with you. It scared her. Then a few minutes later she learned Jesus said "whatever you do for the least, you've done for me." She then realized she could do something
  • She didn't know what her role could be
  • Later learned about power of small loans: infusion of capital
  • Realized: why don't we provide the funding
  • So, they tried to figure out how to loan to a small business in Tanzania/Uganda

Lender perspective

  • Lenders from 185 countries
  • Anyone with paypal or credit card and internet connection can participate
  • profiles are listed on website
  • The use reps that find local entrapeneurs: They know the local, they're experts in what they do.
  • Lenders will get their money back
  • Avg is $500 to $600
  • Avg lender is $100
  • 98.5% payment rate!
  • It's not just a loan, it's Money with purpose, a Loan with intention


  • One family was able to get a lock to be more secure
  • A woman can buy sugar to put in tea they share with visitors

How did they start:

  • They weren't sure it was legals
  • tarted with $3000 and 7 people
  • 2nd year:$15M in loans
  • now $5M per monthin less than 4 years

Leadership questions:

  • How are you organized?
  • Flat org. Started as a handful of friends. At that point, everyone is equally valuable
  • You don't need to tell people their job is important, it just is.
  • It's not who's in charge, but who can fix problem now.
  • It's trust based, so the values can be perpetuated even though Values go beyond paid staff to volunteers and lenders

believe in co-creation, so need to trust and be open and allow those people to contribute

Keeping on course:

  • Mission which states: What/how/why
  • We make decisions based on the mission statement
  • Build common purpose


  • Innovation and Entrapaneurship are life giving to organization
  • Innovation should be present in the church, that's were life should come from, it should be the biggest place on the planet for innovation

What have you learned about giving?

  • Great poets show, they don't tell
  • People are designed to give sacrificially, that's where joy comes from in life
  • Give people the chance, they will participate

Fears for the future?

  • Connection between fear and safety
  • There is more to loose with each new step as we grow
  • I would hope that fear doesn't cause org to be less nimble and dynamic and pioneering

What would you say to young leaders?

  • 1. Don't appologize for the first step - no matter how small. Don't be afraid to start small. You can talk about an idea, but once you start, it's a different atmosphere
  • 2. Just start - get going

What would you say to more experienced leaders - they want to know how to lead new folks coming into their orgs

  • the idea of co-creation and collaborative is new
  • Working with leaders in both camps: co-creation and the old way of doing things - get them together to brainstorm, learn from each other

Final thoughts:

  • When you believe in a woman living in a hut, you can do what needs to be done
  • When you feel ashamed of wealth in own life, you have to allows you to break out of the false dichotomy of rich vs. poor. It changes the way people work together
  • People from foreign countries can now invest in U.S. micro-businesses as of this year.

take a look:

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