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Cofounder of Microlending Website to Speak

Posted 04/06/2011
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Category: Campus Announcements
Jessica Jackley

Jessica Jackley

Jessica Jackley, a cofounder of, a microlending website that allows users to provide loans of as little as $25 to help alleviate poverty around the world, will speak on Tuesday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m., in Millard Auditorium.

Jackley’s talk, “Harnessing the Power of Perspective,” is this year’s Ellsworth Lecture, sponsored by the Barney School of Business.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.
To order tickets, stop by the University Box Office in Lincoln Theater, or call the Box Office at 860.768.4228 or 800.274.8587. is the world’s first peer-to-peer online microlending website. Named as one of the top ideas in 2006 by The New York Times Magazine and called “revolutionary” by the BBC, Kiva lets Internet users lend as little as $25 to specific developing world entrepreneurs, providing affordable capital to help start or expand a small business. One of the fastest growing social-benefit websites in history, Kiva has loaned more than $100 million across 182 countries since its founding in 2005.

In the midst of its success, Kiva remains focused on a very simple idea: bringing people closer to each other. Its mission—“to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty”—and the conviction that relationships are a powerful force for positive change are the foundation of Jackley’s work. Her latest platform, ProFounder, provides new ways for small businesses in the United States to access start-up funding through community involvement.

Jackley’s work with Kiva has received extensive media and press coverage from NPR, CNN, NBC, ABC, PBS, BBC, The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Economist. A finalist for Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009, Jackley has received numerous awards for her work and lectures widely on microfinance and social entrepreneurship.

The Ellsworth Lecture program promotes an awareness of, and appreciation for, the American business system. It was created in 1979 by Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc., to honor its former chairman, the late John E. Ellsworth.

Jessica Jackley

Jessica Jackley