Mesh ’09: Jessica Jackley Keynote (Co-founder, Kiva.org)

(Jessica – photo courtesy Mike McNulty)

Jessica Jackley, Co-founder of Kiva.org, gave a keynote address at Mesh ’09. Kiva.org is probably one of the smartest and most effective web-initiated charitable efforts ever as it is not really charity, but ends up helping people in anycase. It involves regular people, like you and me, going on to the website (www.kiva.org), and making a small loan (like $25) to a budding entrepreneur somewhere in the world to help him or her start a small business. And all those microloans have added up, with people having loaned more than $60 million through Kiva!

She mentioned this is something she learned from Dr Muhammed Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and from observing the world in general. In college she studied philosophy, not business, as she wanted to help people. Next year, Kiva plans to start the microlending service in the US as well. The most remarkable quote at the conference came from her:

“I’m not wealthy, but I feel I can retire on happiness”

Watch hey keynote below (apologies for the poor quality of the video):