Co-founder of microlending website to speak at Purdue

September 2, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Jessica Jackley, co-founder of the world's first peer-to-peer microlending website, will kick off the 2010-11 Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics.

Jessica Jackley

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Jackley will speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. The talk, which is free and open to the public, is presented by the Krannert School of Management and the College of Education's James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship.

Jackley, who will speak on "Harnessing the Power of Perspective," is a co-founder of, which lets Internet users lend as little as $25 to specific developing-world entrepreneurs, providing affordable capital to help them start or expand a small business.

Since 2005, Kiva has loaned more than $100 million from lenders to entrepreneurs in 182 countries.

 Kiva's mission of connecting people through lending to alleviate poverty and the idea that relationships are a powerful force for positive change remain foundations for the organization's strategy.

Last year, Jackley began work on ProFounder to provide ways for small U.S. businesses to access start-up funding through community involvement. She also teaches global entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.

She has an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a bachelor's degree in philosophy and political science from Bucknell University.

The Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics began in 2003. Speakers chosen from a variety of disciplines discuss business ethics and the role citizens play in corporate ethics, providing an overview of the impact of corporate ethics on business, the economy and society as a whole.

Jackley's talk is sponsored by Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union and Karl and Kathy Krapek.

Also speaking this academic year will be Randy Cohen, New York Times ethics columnist, on Nov. 18, and Mitch Jackson, FedEx vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability, on April 7.

Writer:  Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432,  

Source:  Tim Newton, Krannert School director of external relations and communications, 765-496-7271,

Note to Journalists: Jessica Jackley will be available for a phone interview at 2 p.m. ET Sept. 7. Reporters who are interested should contact Tim Newton, 765-496-7271,