Like Bev, I am not exactly clear on how to present this alternative model. Having viewed many pitches in Mod 2 unlike the Dragon’s Den approach, is a site that connects enrepreneurs in the developing world with personal lenders in the microcredit manner.  Many of the entrepreneurs are from Tier 4 (and Tier 3?) of the pyramid. A new analytical model that appeared relevant from Prahalad and Harts article was the vetting of business proposals.  The Grameen Banks acceptance of community based evaluation of loan applications by 5 non family is sound. It saves Grameen the expensive legal, logistical HR hassles and promotes the lender in the community while serving a very real need. In Tier 4, the Cube face related to Market Focus may need to include “community ed” that does not entail traditional K-12 etc. For these typically rural communities, the educational focus could be public health or agricultural information . “Who is the Buyer” -in addtion to NGOs and Governenets, this may include microcredit lenders who see value in education as well as the individual. Tier 4 would fall on the “Market Does Not Support Elearning”  face but perhaps this could be further subdivided.  The OLPC  program takes advantage of cell phone communication networks providing  connectivity in previously isolated areas. Perhaps “Wireless” “With out Wireless” may be reasonable?



1 davidp { 09.28.09 at 8:37 pm }

Hi Jim.

If I recall correctly was begun by two enterprising grad students from Stanford who believed that social networking technologies could be employed to enable a kind of online Grameen Bank.

The innovation was in bringing the social networking technology to micro-lending in a manner that resonated with target market of potential lenders in North America. I think it has been quite successful and in fact from time time, over-subscribed – too many lenders, not enough qualified micro-entrepreneurs in the developing world.

I just recently got an email from telling me that three loans that I had helped fund had been paid back and that it was time for me to “re-invest.”

2 James Richardson { 09.29.09 at 4:17 pm }

Hi David,
I am not sure where they received their education but Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley were the founders and their initial focus was Africa but they have clearly gone global since Kiva’s inception. It is a real social networking success story. It is truly an inspirational enterprise and I have been meaning to put my money where my mouth is as well.. I think I found my New Years resolution.

3 davidp { 09.29.09 at 8:47 pm }

Reading the stories of the micro-entrepreneurs is an experience all by itself. I have enjoyed being a part of it the past few years and have given “shares” in as gifts to friends and children.

4 Bev { 10.02.09 at 8:01 pm }

Thanks for posting this site. I’ve spent quite awhile looking through it and trying to decide who to lend money too.

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