Before Kiva began getting big press in 2006, the general public had little idea what a microloan was, why it would be helpful, or that it was even possible to get money over the Internet to poor entrepreneurs in the developing world. By now, though, Kiva has been given the thumbs-up by everyone–even Oprah. By now, the company has loaned $240,410,450. In the video below, you can watch all that money fly around the world, and see Kiva’s volume and reach increase as it becomes more popular.
Little “missiles” fly from a blue square (lender) to a colored square (borrower). Once the borrower makes repayment, the missile flies back. You can see the company’s explosive growth, as the visualization quickly goes from just a few blue dots flying from the Bay Area to one spot in Africa to an enormous flock of missiles crossing the globe.
In 2006, the company was featured on PBS Frontline, and then things really get insane, as Kiva adds borrowers away from its original base in East Africa, to include many in Eastern Europe, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia. Givers start to appear more frequently in Europe, Australia, and Japan, and China.
Kiva has recently started working on providing microloans locally in the United States as well. It will be interesting to see this map in a few years if that program takes off at the same level that Kiva did originally.