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Monday
Jun222009

Kiva's opening to American entrepreneurs is not welcomed by all...

Apparently it's the worthiest endeavor to lend to those in dire poverty, and less so to lend to those who are only really poor. Or at least so says some of Kiva's most committed supporters who are disappointed by the microcredit p2p platform's move to allow US micro-entrepreneurs to compete for loans on the site.

As we profiled the day it was announced, Kiva began as a site to lend to the poor in Africa, but has been expanding to developing nations around the world, and earlier this week, announced that it would open to its first developed country: the United States. Americans have long dominated the lending side of the equation, and many Kiva supporters are worried that now that American borrowers can also list profiles on the site, that precious funds will be diverted from those who need it most.

What do you think? Kiva is advertising this poll to hear from their supporters: http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1720762/

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Reader Comments (5)

I'm sure the FDIC will find some way to shut them down if they begin operating in the US. Technically, the Fiddies can only regulate companies that offer checking accounts, but as loose and fluid as things have gotten lately.... I know that several similar businesses have been shut down.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSean

Oops. Guess I should read more of a blog before shooting my mouth off.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSean

Hi Sean,
Kiva should be safe for now as long as they don't offer interest to investors. You're right that many similar sites have been shut down, but that is because they were accused of offering "securities". Kiva is considering the move to offering interest-bearing investments, however. It will be interesting to see how the SEC responds to that and if they pursue the course that you have suggested. With Kiva's extraordinarily competent team, however, my assumption is that they will do it in the right way (like Lending Club and Pertuity Direct) and get the full SEC blessing before pursing that route.

June 30, 2009 | Registered CommenterMelody

I'm a Kiva lender and have been surprised at how angry some other Kiva lenders are over this. For the life of me, I can't see the problem. It's your money: if you want to lend to Americans, do; if not, don't. Choice is a good thing.

July 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Chris - I couldn't agree more.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelody Hildebrandt
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