Jessica Jackley, founder and former chief marketing officer of Kiva, the world’s first peer-to-peer microlending website, will speak at St. Mary’s University on April 3 at 7 p.m. as part of the Lin Great Speakers Series. The event will be in the University Center’s Conference Room A. It is free and open to the public.
Jackley will speak on “Love, Money, and Work: Social Entrepreneurship as a Career.” She founded Kiva in 2005 to let users lend as little as $25 to poor entrepreneurs around the world, providing affordable capital to start or expand microenterprises. Kiva is one of the fastest-growing social benefit websites in history, with total loans expected to reach $1 billion this year. Jackley also founded ProFounder.com, which provided innovative ways for start-ups and small business entrepreneurs in the U.S. to access start-up capital through crowdfunding and community involvement. Regulations forced the site to close this year, but Jackley has promised to continue the work.
Jackley was a finalist for TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in 2009 and a recipient of USA Networks’ Character Approved award in 2010. Convinced that social change happens across all sectors, Jackley has worked in public, nonprofit, and private organizations including the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Amazon.com, Potentia Media and many others.
Since 1990, St. Mary’s University has offered the Lin Great Speakers Series to the public as a community service. The series is made possible by an endowment established in the memory of Shu Chi Lin by his widow, Mrs. Chang Le-Chiao, and his son, Vincent Lin, an alumnus and former St. Mary’s faculty member.