I recently came across a wonderful idea for providing peer-to-peer lending to entrepreneurs in developing countries. The idea seems akin to the principles of the Grameen Bank, providing microcredit in this case primarily as a form of aid. The system allows people with spare cash to browse potential applicants and offer them money in the form of a loan. Kiva works with what they term experienced ‘field partners’ to provide the loans, these bodies being established and recognised sources of finance (which may charge interest on the money to the borrower). Eventually the loans are repaid and the money can be withdrawn, redistributed or donated to Kiva to help cover their organisation’s costs. Of course the levels of finance are fairly miniscule on the larger scale, a far cry yet from providing the many milliards needed to create the level of sustainability needed in many parts of the developing world, through stability, infrastructure, education etc. Yet Kiva has plenty of room to expand, and importantly the principle behind the organisation is sound, in trying to create a direct link between people in the developing world who need capital (and know what they want to do with it) and those with the money and the conscience to try and help. Time will tell how effective Kiva’s mission will be.