Kiva Co-founder Jessica Jackley Speaking March 25

Kiva Co-Founder Jessica JackleyHartsville, S.C. — Jessica Jackley, co-founder of the pioneering microfinance organization Kiva, is speaking at Coker College on Thursday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Watson Theater of the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Performing Arts Center. A reception will follow Jackley’s speech. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Combining micro-lending with the Internet, Kiva ( empowers entrepreneurs and fights poverty in the developing world. Since 2005, Kiva has coordinated $125 million in loans to small business owners in 53 nations. Jackley was 27 when she co-founded Kiva and she is the spirit behind the organization.

Kiva users pick their loan recipient online, be it a farmer in Cambodia, a pharmacist in Sierra Leone, or a shopkeeper in Mongolia. The minimum amount that can be loaned to an entrepreneur is $25, and the interest rate is 0%. The repayment rate is more than 98%.

USA Network recently named Jackley a 2010 Character Approved award winner in recognition of her “cultural impact, legacy and persona.” She was also a finalist for TIME's 100 Most Influential People of 2009.

Jackley speaks widely on microfinance and social entrepreneurship. Her work has been featured on Oprah, the Today Show, CNN, BBC, NBC, ABC, PBS, NPR, and in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Economist.

In the summer of 2009, Jackley began work on ProFounder, a new platform that provides ways for small businesses in the United States to access start-up funding through community involvement. She also teaches Global Entrepreneurship at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Jackley holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Bucknell University. She is speaking at Coker College as part of the annual Lois Walters Coker Lecture Series, a program established at the college in 2000 to bring internationally recognized experts to campus.

This year, the lecture series coincides with the inauguration of Coker College’s 16th president, Dr. Robert Wyatt, on Friday, March 26.


March 18, 2010

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