Announcement by Kiva on joinFITE a new microlending platform to fund woman entrepreneurs:
In partnership with Dermalogica and strategic partners, today Kiva.org is launching joinFITE.org to provide microloans to women entrepreneurs in low-income regions of the United States and 56 other countries.A novel aspect of the campaign is its engagement of retail consumers as microlenders. Dermalogica, for example, will contribute $1 every time a consumer goes to the joinFITE.org Web site and enters a code printed on FITE-themed packaging that the company is using for five of its best-selling products. The resulting micro loan is made available to a designated entrepreneur within hours.“We know the collective impact of consumer action and socially responsible business practices can create sustainable and far-reaching change,” said strategic partner actress Geena Davis. “Together, we can maximize our effort to empower women and girls around the world.”
So what does that mean for p2p microfinance? Kiva has found a way to combine microlending with product placement. A positive viewpoint on this will be that the codes on the products will invite new people to try the concept of microlending. A negative viewpoint might be that the positive image of p2p microlending is used for branding and advertising purposes.
Anyway: this approach could be copied by Kiva (and other p2p microfinance sites) with more partners/products. As long as the selection of partners is very responsible the p2p microfinance site avoids tainting its image.
Related article with some more background at Fastcompany.