Rockville, MD (PRWEB) January 18, 2010
Just Eyewear, retailer of prescription eyeglasses online, announces its support of Kiva, a web-based microloans lending foundation inspired by the work of Muhammad Yunis. “Ever since I heard about Muhammad Yunis and his Grameen Bank, I've been fascinated with the idea of microloans,” says Marc Mackenzie, President of Just Eyewear. “He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for helping people break the cycle of poverty. As an entrepreneur myself, I can't think of a better way to help than assisting other entrepreneurs to get started.”
Here enters Kiva. Matt and Jessica Jackley Flannery founded Kiva with the objective of opening up micro-loan lending to the everyman. “If you have $10,000 to lend, you have many options,” says Matt, a graduate of Stanford, in an interview with Stanford Magazine. Yet, Matt explains, unlike other institutions, Kiva’s donations start at $25, meaning you can give a little and still make a huge difference.
A pioneer in giving online, Kiva is web-based. In fact, its operations run through PayPal, meaning anyone with an account can log into Kiva, donate what they’d like, and instantly be an international lender of low-income entrepreneurs.
The nitty-gritty of how Kiva works is straightforward: Kiva’s goal is to facilitate microloans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. Generally, it works through existing aid organizations to identify entrepreneurs seeking credit and then brings together lenders to finance microloans directly. A process that’s easy enough to explain, but extremely complex and legally complicated to operate. Premal Shal, president of Kiva, explains, “We [at Kiva] have all the complexity of being a Silicon Valley-based start-up that is growing really fast, coupled with the complexity of international financial transactions, all done with the limited resources of a nonprofit. It’s a complicated model, with a lot of due diligence and screening required.”
Yet thanks to the generous support of businesses and countless individuals online, four-year-old Kiva has given more than $100 million in microloans. And the best part of all, according to Mackenzie: “100% of the money contributed to Kiva goes to the person borrowing the money—they don't take any money for administration.” So every penny you donate is directly given to those in need.
Why take interest and be involved in Kiva? With even limited resources, individuals can aid an escape from poverty. Plus, the money given is in fact a loan and will thus be repaid in due time, opening up “giving” to a larger assortment of people. As a company, Just Eyewear hopes its contributions will encourage customers’ involvement in Kiva. “What better way to help than to support someone who wants to improve their community and will work hard to get their local economy going,” says Mackenzie. "And best of all, when they succeed, we get to re-loan the money to help others.”
Any inquiries should be directed to Jocelyn Gibbons at jocelyn.gibbons (at) justeyewear (dot) com.
About Just Eyewear:
Just Eyewear, LLC, was founded in 2009 with the goal of providing high-quality prescription eyeglasses online. By educating consumers through articles, guides and other resources, Just Eyewear seeks to empower glasses wearers everywhere and helps them save up to 90% over the price of glasses at a traditional store.
More information on Kiva is available at http://www.kiva.org/about