I have just received a message from this Kiva group and after checking the Kiva forum and I tend to agree with Ashley “Check this one out. I’m genuinely concerned about this woman I mean, what is she going to do without an outsdoor storage shed?!”
I have always been a firm supporter of Kiva and I introduced their case study to my classes. This is a disappointment. Microfinance, in my opinion, has to stay “micro” and relevant to these under served countries that need it the most. I perfectly understand that many families in the US are navigating in turbulent waters but this is certainly not a good reason to use microfinance – in the case of kiva free credit – to finance 5000-10,000+ $ loans. There are a good deal of peer to peer lending platforms like zopa and many other opportunities for Americans or British lenders. Very little, if any, for people in Samoa, Cambodia etc.
Additionally, some MFI institutions complained that Kiva does restrict their projects: they can only post small loans of less than 500$. This is completely fine but why then open US loans to these “jumbo” loans ? If Kiva wanted to do something in the US it should have focused in entrepreneurial micro projects for the needy and not these type of loans.
Gladly I am doing my with direct microfinance initiatives and trying something out with myc4 too.