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Premal Shah believes your last name doesn't need to be Gates or
Rockefeller in order to make a real dent in global poverty. After
leaving his job as a Principal Product Manager at PayPal, it has
taken Premal less then a year to make good on Kiva's pledge that
all it takes to become a micro lender is a credit card and access
to a computer. Raising money "Howard Dean Style" from over 13,000
online lenders, Kiva has provided more than a million dollars in
low-cost working capital to small-scale entrepreneurs in less
developed countries from Bulgaria to Uganda. The site boasts high
repayments rates and soon hopes to offer lenders interest. We talk
to Premal about how working in Silicon Valley has shaped his
approach to combating poverty, how he believes the market "bakes
in psychic and emotional returns," and how the power of online
communities can strengthen the world of micro credit.
Check out Venture Voice for the podcast.