Market Overview

FarmVille Vs. Kiva


If you had the opportunity to loan $25 to help someone build a farm in another country, would you do it? Or would you rather spend that money buying goodies in FarmVille?

This is the challenge that Kiva – a nonprofit group dedicated to facilitating $25, interest-free loans to entrepreneurs in remote areas – faces. At least, that's what the organization's president believes.

But Kiva co-founder Jessica Jackley isn't buying it.

“Truthfully, [the story] was a little surprising,” she told Benzinga during a recent interview, referring to TechCrunch's interview with Kiva President Premal Shah. “I can see where you could say, ‘Oh, that funding could otherwise go to Kiva.' But at its core, what I hope is that it is not compared to or swapped in for a game.”

Full Interview: Talking About ProFounder with CEO Jessica Jackley, Part 1

Jackley said that she believes that the most beautiful parts of Kiva are the parts that allow us to learn about real humans on the other side of the world – “not just someone like the poster child that you often get exposed to.”

“And it's certainly not [a case of], I have 15 minutes and $25 and I'm either going to play this video game or help this real person that is in need,” Jackley said. “Truthfully, while I absolutely love and respect the thinking behind that, I personally would not have compared it to [FarmVille].”

If FarmVille isn't a threat to Kiva, then what is? “This is going to sound a little cheesy, but we've always said the biggest competitor is ignorance, and just people not caring to engage.”

To hear more from the woman behind Kiva and ProFounder, don't miss Benzinga's full interview with Jessica Jackley.

Posted-In: farmville Jessica Jackley Kiva Premal Shah ProFounderTech Personal Finance General Best of Benzinga


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