Peru State College
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News Release

KIVA microlending founder to speak at Peru State Monday, April 7

Free and open to the public


(Peru, Neb.) Jessica Jackley, founder and former chief marketing officer of KIVA, the world’s first peer-to-peer microlending website, will speak at Peru State College at 7 p.m. Monday, April 7 in the College Theatre as part of the institution’s Distinguished Speaker Series. The public is encouraged to attend the event which is offered free of charge.  


Jackley’s presentation is titled Love, Money, Work: Social Entrepreneurship as a Career.

KIVA lets users lend as little as $25 to poor entrepreneurs around the world, providing affordable capital for them to start or expand microenterprises. Named one of the top ideas of 2006 by The New York Times Magazine, and praised by Oprah, Bill Clinton and countless others, KIVA is one of the fastest-growing social benefit websites in history.

Since its founding in 2005, KIVA has loaned more than $400 million from lenders to entrepreneurs across 206 countries. For all its success, KIVA remains focused on a simple mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty, one person at a time. 


Jackley first saw the power and dignity of microfinance while working in east Africa with a microenterprise non-profit. Convinced that social change happens across all sectors. She has worked with public, non-profit and private organizations, including the Stanford Center for Social Innovation,, Potentia Media and many others.

Jackley currently serves as a venture partner with the Collaborative Fund, focused on investing in creative entrepreneurs who want to change the world through emerging technologies. She is a visiting practitioner at Stanford University’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society. Also an educator, Jackley was Barer Visiting Fellow at Drew University, taught global Entrepreneurship at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and lectures frequently at other universities around the country.


Jackley was recently praised by Forbes Magazine and was named one of five rising stars in healthcare, education and the environment. She is the recipient of the 2012 Symons Innovator Award, which recognizes the importance of women’s participation in technology innovation and business. Jackley plans to publish a book in 2014 about her entrepreneurial journey and the lessons learned along the way from entrepreneurs in unexpected places - goat herders, seamstresses, farmers and many more.

Peru State established the Distinguished Speaker Series in fall 2010 as part of its commitment to student engagement and success. The intent of the Series is to bring diverse, nationally and internationally recognized speakers to southeast Nebraska to enrich the educational experience of students while also providing the surrounding communities with opportunities to engage in interesting and relevant topics. Speakers are encouraged to connect with the community in a variety of ways during their visits through classroom discussions, guest lectures, meet and greet receptions, and a keynote address.


Previous guests include former skinhead Frank Meeink, civil rights leader and Little Rock Nine member Minnijean Brown-Trickey, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Arun Gandhi, Bawa (Cameroon, Africa) Health Initiative co-founder Dr. Dennis Richardson, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author Sonia Nazario, consumer advocate and former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, human trafficking activist Somaly Mam, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi, and social entrepreneur and co-founder of Krochet Kids International Kohl Crecilius.