Not enough loans on Kiva?

I was just browsing Kiva and only last night I have encountered a message confirming that every loan on the site has been funded. This is excellent – but perhaps it would be better to host a much larger amount of loans. In contrast, the portal babyloan seems to have many unfunded loans and a much smaller turnover. It is a French initiative and has a similar model to the one of Kiva. Loans can be re-used and there is a small donation of 1 Euro every 100 Euro loaned to finance their operations. The total loans handled by babyloan are slightly less than 150,000 Euro – very small if compared to the over 64 million of Kiva.The platform is kivasimilar but it looks like the English version is not yet as complete (e.g. the blog is solely in French). They could probably fetch more donors with a simple api to syndicate loans through partner sites – this should be really easy to implement and I feel that bloggers and twitters would play a great role in spreading the word.

I am wondering if the current online loan portals are really up to the growing appetite for social loans. Beside Kiva and Microplace (an Ebay subsidiary where you actually earn interest on the money you lend) all the others I have currently reviewed are not there yet. Their platform is often incomplete – one of the great ideas of kiva is offering borrowers updates, groups and much more.

It would be nice to create something useful for companies and educational institutions to “match” loans with their own funds – and/or to be more interesting to investors. Once again microfinance shouldn’t be confused with charity or a donation – at the very leads lenders should be able to receive their money back without interest and loan them to other micro entrepreneurs. All the other portals that consider loans donations (e.g. wokai)are really not as interesting.

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