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  CONTENTS >> LEAD STORY   Nov/Dec 2010
 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A Big Idea about Small Business

A Conversation with Matt Flannery,
cofounder of Kiva

By John David Mann



In 2004, while on a trip to rural East Africa, computer programmer Matt Flannery had an idea for a way his friends back home could participate in helping provide tiny capital investment funds to the small-business entrepreneurs he was filming. At the time, it seemed like a wholly impractical idea to many. Yet five years later, by 2009, well over 600,000 individuals had made microloans through the Kiva web site, with a full repayment rate of more than 98 percent, to more than a quarter of a million individual entrepreneurs around the world.
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