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A competitor for Kiva?

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was calling for social media platforms that would allow donors and aid recipients to share their perspectives. Today, via Chris Kreutz, I learned about MobileMovement, a "next-generation microfinancing site, where donors and participants can communicate directly with young social entrepreneurs in the slums of Nairobi." So, if you find a youth enterpreneur group you’d like to finance, such as Be Smart Design Association or El Elohe Landscape and Artworks, you can ask them directly about their business plan, the way they work and how they intend to invest your money and decide whether to provide them with a loan or business advice.

And herein lies the difference with Kiva, according to Jessica Fraser, MobileMovement’s producer:

...if someone doesn’t want to have that relationship but they want to microfinance, Kiva’s the best. For someone who’s interested in dialoguing and learning more and building relationships or having contact, this is where Mobile Movement becomes a new platform.

Hmm, maybe. While the two-way, instantaneous communications is definitely a step in the right direction, one is still left to wonder whether Development 2.0 will become a virtual replica of the feudalistic fragmentation that plagued the Development 1.0 world. Will MobileMovement scale up, and would better development results have been achieved by embracing open standards and enhancing the already successful Kiva platform rather than creating a competitor? I guess only time will tell…


Submitted by Wayan on
Let's be clear. With Kiva you are not lending to an entrepreneur - you are donating to Kiva. Kiva then re-lends the money to an MFI at close to 0%, the MFI charges the end borrower market interest rates and keeps the spread. Amazing returns and all you have to do is toe the Kiva marketing line that their donors are lending to entrepreneurs. Yet Kiva's own stats say that the majority of the MFI borrowers are using loans for health care costs, not business expenses.

Submitted by Brooke on
I am not sure where Wayan got his information from, because it is far from accurate. I have worked for Kiva for the past 3 years and I just wanted to clarify that with Kiva you are NOT DONATING TO KIVA. The way that Kiva works is: 1) You search the site and you choose an entrepreneur that you would like to lend to 2) You pay through Paypal (for free) on the Kiva site and then Kiva distributes your money to the local microfinance institution (MFI) that we have partnered with and call "Field Partners". *Kiva sends 100% of your loan (this is NOT a donation to Kiva, the MFI or the entrepreneur) directly to the Kiva Field Partner who then distributes the money to the entrepreneur that you chose. 3) The Kiva Field Partner then keeps you up to date with what is going on with the entrepreneur you chose via the "Journal" section on the Kiva website as well as the Kiva Fellows blog. 4) Once the loan is paid back, the MFI/Kiva Field Partner then returns the money to Kiva and then we put ALL of it back in your Kiva account. From there you can re-loan, donate to Kiva or withdraw it back out through Paypal. All of this information is available on the website under the "About" section Also, I wanted to mention that "the majority of the MFI borrowers are using loans for health care costs, not business expenses" is simply wrong and inaccurate.

Submitted by giulio quaggiotto on
Hi Wayan and Brook, Thanks for your comments. The debate on Kiva (and its effectiveness) is indeed open: Cheers, Giulio

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