Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Before 30: Week One Update

Wow. Since announcing my goal to generate 30 new Kiva loans before my 30th birthday, I have been overwhelmed by the response from family, friends, and strangers (well, strangers no more!).

In just one week, my lending team, Claudine's 30 Loans Before Turning 30, has grown from one to 14 members, and together we have made 22 loans totaling $550. In one week! Okay, so I still have a long way to go before ever catching our friend Bob Harris, whose Friends of Bob Harris lending team is currently ranked 7th overall and to date has lent over 49,500 loans totaling more than $1.33 million. Now that deserves a real WOW.

Bob Harris aside, we have to start somewhere, right? And I'm pretty excited about our progress over the last several days. For example, we're currently helping entrepreneurs in 15 different countries. Take a look at the country breakdown below.

The country diversity is awesome, and I am especially excited that we already have one of the elusive, hard-to-find Nepal loans (hats off to Frank from the Netherlands who snapped up that one).

But our loans are, at the moment, heavily concentrated in the Asia region.

I wonder if we can up the ante for North America, Central America, Africa, and the Middle East? Or how about Eastern Europe?

Our lending team is also heavily favoring women, with 77.27% going to female entrepreneurs.

Interestingly, this statistic is close to Kiva's overall lending rate to women, which is 80.63%. After working with Kiva's Nepal partner BPW Patan, a women-only microfinance institution, I am always thrilled to see loans go to women. Just don't forget that men are also frequently excluded from formal financial institutions due to lack of collateral, remote locations, and a host of other factors, so microfinance is crucial for men too.

Of course, I am excited about any loan that you choose to fund on Kiva and, if you're so inclined, to credit to my lending team. Thanks to everyone who has already made loans on my behalf, and thank you in advance to anyone who loans in the future! Stay tuned for more updates.

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