Microlending and Islam: New lessons from the old world

BAIL: Bay Area International Link

By: Michael Looft

As a crowd-funding peer-to-peer lending platform, Kiva has helped to shape a nascent and burgeoning movement towards increased access to finance. For those not familiar with Kiva, our mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. We are based in San Francisco and currently work with 270 partners in 77 countries around the world, allowing them to raise funds for microfinance loans on our site. Over the past nine years our lenders have funded nearly $600 million in loans, helping well over a million of the world’s poor.

While Kiva’s model has inspired other crowdfunding sites that have extended much needed capital to additional contexts in new and innovative ways, Kiva itself has also been influenced by “old world” methods that continue to shape the lives of people around the world. Some of the best ideas are not new ones, but simply old ones assisted…

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