A few months ago, I gave away a few Kiva Gift Certificates — one via this blog, one via Twitter, and one via Facebook. I wanted to share with you where they went.
There are two great ways that you can support peer to peer lending with a simple mouse click.
1) Vote for Kiva.org — the micro lending site for entrepreneurs in the developing world in the Crunchies which are a major web award. Vote at the 2008 crunchies website under the category of most likely to make the world a better place.
2) Vote for Uncrunch America at Change.org which is being sponsored by Lending Club. Uncrunch America is a newly formed NGO that has been submitted to help change America using the voting system on Change.org. It is based upon the idea that there is lots of money available but hoarded and lots of people in need of money. The top three ideas will be moved to a second round of voting for a runoff election. The the overall top 10 ideas for changing America will be presented to the new administration on Inauguration Day.
About Uncrunch America from Change.org: [Read more...]
From the scrolling banner on Kiva’s site about the impact that Kiva lenders have made this week:
12,817 lenders made a loan.
17,329 gift certificates purchased.
15,002 new lenders joined.
2,874 entrepreneurs funded.
1 loan was made every 25 seconds.
I also gave a certificate away on Facebook and my friend redeemed it for this loan:
Mr. Yous Ba Try, 35, is married and lives with his wife and a ten year-old child in a part of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He is the head of the family and works as a sculptor designing and making Buddha statues and historical statues from cement and will then sell up for a profit. From his business activity he can … Read More moderately make $3 a day of income. Moreover, his wife, Lay Sarorn has a business at home washing motor-bikes and vehicles and makes $3 a day of income.
Yous Ba Try would like to ask for a loan from Kiva to purchase more cement to expand his business. Half of the loan will be used to fix a roof of the building where his wife has her business.
Congratulations Kiva on your great year. To date Kiva has facilitated over $54 million in micro loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world.
For more about Kiva’s outstanding year, see the Kiva year end review blog post.
Another Gift Certificate Give Away:
I’ll be giving away another gift certificate via Twiter. I am certain that Kiva will have more loans to fund shortly.
Last year MySpace Founder Chris DeWolfe gave away Kiva.org gift certificates to his employees as a Christmas presents. I noticed Tim Ferris gave away a gift certificate via Twitter. I decided to do the same but with Kiva.org the micro lending site gift certificates.
I am giving away one certificate via my blog with this posting, one via facebook, and one via twitter. I’ll be giving away another certificate via twitter in the next few days so follow me on twitter. I added a $20 donation to Kiva on top of the gift certificates to cover the operations for the loans, so don’t feel obligated to add the service fees that they might ask you to donate when using this certificate for the loan.
From the Kiva website:
Kiva (www.kiva.org) [is] a non-profit that allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur in the developing world.
You choose who to lend to – whether a baker in Afghanistan, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, a restaurateur in Cambodia, or a … Read Moretailor in Iraq – and as they repay their loan, you get your money back. It’s a powerful and sustainable way to empower someone right now to lift themselves out of poverty.
Below is the certificate. All I ask [Read more...]
I have been fascinated with Kiva.org for sometime but have not jumped into lending on the concept yet. Part of my hesitancy is that I feel awkward about earning a return on these micro-loans for international development. I do not see them fitting with my goal of trying to offer a higher return, but as a former Peace Corps volunteer I am excited about the concept of micro-finance and would like to participate.
Glenn Chapman wrote an article about P2P lending which can be found at Yahoo.com News. Included in the article were Prosper.com, Virgin Money, Kiva, and Zopa. Below are a few excerpts from Glenn Chapman’s article and my comments. Glenn Chapman begins the
rehashed material article with a great feel-good tag line:
The Internet is directly connecting investors and borrowers, letting them take banks out of the lending equation and put their money where their hearts and dreams are.
Never mind the details that Zopa is actually adding a layer of bureaucracy between the bank of the people involved rather than removing it in its US based model:
Zopa feels US investors are steering clear of risk so, in contrast to its London-based service, the firm guarantees lenders will get their money back. Lenders at Zopa put their money into the equivalent of certificates of deposit, selecting borrowers they want to direct funds to and picking interest rates from pre-set ranges. Zopa banks on its borrower-screening savvy to minimize losses.
On to the Prosper.com information listed in the article because this was my reason for posting about Glenn Chapman’s article in the first place…
If a Prosper borrower fails to pay back a loan the default is reported to credit agencies and eventually sold to collection agencies. The default rate on Prosper loans is a meager three percent.
There are several items related to Prosper.com that people complain about 1) censorship (see my article on Prosper editing Wikipedia and the comments at the WSJ) 2) poor collections (link to one of Prosper’s Top Lenders Collections Issues) and 3) the default rate is higher than expected and advertised.
Prosper claims the default rate is 3% which is only technically true by the Prosper.com definition of a default and includes all loans — even very recent ones. The 3% default figure does not take into account that the average three-year loan is only less than one year old. Prosper statistics on Lending Stats can easily prove this. Take a look at the below graph generated from LendingStats.com:
Prosper’s statistics are technically correct per their definition — less than 3% of Prosper loans have been put in the status of “defaulted.” However, for a Prosper loan to go into default, it must be more than 4 months late and only once per quarter are all loans which are more than four months late are classified as defaulted.
Considering that the average age of a loan listed currently at Prosper is only 284 days (approximately 9.5 months) and that it takes four or more months to be considered in default, there are many more loans that are going to default in the near future. See this prosper statistics page which shows default rates on loans originated in the first several months of the site to be in excess of 20%. That is right, the default rate is probably going to actually be more than 20% after three years. A default rate of 1 in 5 loans is horrible. Banks would be out of business, but Prosper does not share in the risk only the people lending.
How Many Prosper Loans are Late? [Read more...]
MySpace Co-Founder and CEO, Chris DeWolfe, is giving Kiva.org gift certificates to his employees for Christmas so that they can provide microcredits (found via Fortune). You can gift Kiva gift certificates too by purchasing them on the Kiva website. That is a great idea to generate buzz and interest in Mircoloans and MicroCredit for international development. The Grameen Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for its microcredit program, so I expect the concept to continue to grow. It is the teach a man to fish concept (and give him a few bucks to buy a pole and lure) that makes microcredits long-term more sustainable than giving out a loaf of bread.
Continue below for Links about Kiva: [Read more...]
Wiseclerk mentioned the fighting over the Wikipedia article on Prosper. (The disagreement can be seen on the Wikipedia talk page. ) This reminded me of the wikipedia scanner. The wikipedia scanner checks Wikipedia edits versus the IP address of the editor and looks up the domain to find out possibly what company or governemnt agency made the change. Some interesting examples of Wikipedia Scanner usage include:
- BBC shows the CIA edited the page for the President of Iran
- Diebold axed a section of a page which included criticisms of its voting machines
- Someone in the Democratic Party HQ modified Rush Limbaugh’s page
So what did Wikipedia users with Prosper Marketplace IP addresses edit on the Prosper wikipedia page? [Read more...]