Premal Shah

Premal Shah leads Kiva.org, a website that allows you to lend $25 to the working poor. Since 2005, Kiva lenders have financed over 1 million low-income entrepreneurs from 75 countries, with a 98% repayment rate. The site has been named as one of Oprah's Favorite Things and a Top 50 Website by TIME Magazine. Premal’s inspiration for Kiva came in 2004. Working for several years at PayPal, he took 2 months off to volunteer in India. There he worked with low-income women to help them sell handcrafts online. While the project had mixed results, it strengthened his belief that the right combination of technology, business and love can dramatically accelerate opportunity for those most left out. Today with a burgeoning community of 1 million Kiva lenders, this belief becomes more of a reality each day. For his work as a social entrepreneur, Premal was named on FORTUNE magazine’s “Top 40 under 40″ list. Premal is a graduate of Stanford University.

Kiva Blog Updates

Apr 15, 2010

Hi Kiva Community,

We're writing in response to the recent New York Times article, "Big Banks Draw Profits From Microloans to Poor" by Neil MacFarquhar. If you haven't read it, you can find it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/world/14microfinance.html

The article brings up valid concerns regarding microfinance institutions (MFIs) and the dangers of commercialization....
Continue Reading >>
Oct 31, 2009 KV Kiva HQ
Around 2pm today (Happy Halloween for those in the U.S.), Kiva hit a major milestone:

$100,000,000
in loans raised


It's a wonderful accomplishment involving 584,189 Kiva Lenders in our first 4 years of operations. What's even more amazing to me is that it took over 1 year to raise our first $1 million . This year alone, we're on track to raise... Continue Reading >>
Aug 31, 2009 KV Kiva HQ
Some exciting news: Kiva was awarded the 2009 Index Award in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Index Award is the biggest design award in the world, focused on designs with a social impact.

This year, there were 720 nominations from 54 countries. The award is given to 5 winners once every 2 years. It has included 2005 winner Life Straw, a water-purifying device that has helped to reduce deaths from contaminated water in Africa, and a cheap yet effective prosthesis for feet destroyed by land mines, a winner in 2007.

I traveled Copenhagen to receive the 100,000 Euro award on... Continue Reading >>