eBay launches Kiva Marketplace

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If you don’t know Kiva, check it out. It’s a clever service whereby you can make small loans to businesses and entrepreneurs in the developing world so they can build a better life. And now eBay is getting involved with the launch of a dedicated marketplace.

Launched this month, the marketplace is enabling Kiva borrowers to expand their businesses to eBay’s worldwide audience of 168 million active buyers through a dedicated landing page and seller assistance from eBay specialists.

“Since eBay is all about empowering people and creating opportunity for all, it felt like a really natural fit for us to work with Kiva,” said Allie Ottoboni, Philanthropy Manager at eBay. “We hope that the Kiva Marketplace on eBay will be a lively, scalable opportunity for these entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and sustain their livelihoods.”

And in the new marketplace eBay is waiving the first three months of seller fees for borrowers as well as providing crucial training in marketing and ecommerce. A pilot class of Kiva borrowers is apparently already selling everything from environmentally friendly flip-flops to granola.

It’s an interesting experiment in social commerce and hopefully it will give some of the world’s poorest people the opportunity to trade globally.

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