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Business Lessons from Kiva

We’ve written about San Francisco-based Kiva.org, a not-for-profit organization that arranges interest-free microloans to entrepreneurs in developing nations, a couple of times before (here and here). Kiva has been a massive success story in the non-profit web space. It has now funded over 18,000 loans from over 123,000 lenders totaling about $12.4 million. To put that in perspective, recall that just a few weeks ago, in September of this year, Kiva crossed the $11 million mark on 17,000 loans from 110,000 lenders.

That sort of growth and success is phenomenal, and for profit businesses could learn a thing or two from how Kiva conducts its business to achieve such staggering results. Entrepreneur and author Guy Kawasaki summed up six lessons business owners can learn from Kiva in a great post on his blog today.

Below are his six lessons, but I’ve left out the great additional commentary that he provides on his site, so be sure to check out his original post for that:

  1. Create meaningful partnerships.
  2. Catalyze and support evangelism.
  3. Find a business model.
  4. “Bank” on unproven people.
  5. Focus on free marketing.
  6. Ignore the naysayers.

These are some great lessons that any entrepreneur should pay attention to. And as Kawasaki suggests, why not visit Kiva.org and help fund a loan to someone who really needs it?

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