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Last modified: Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Co-founder of microfinance organization to speak at IU Bloomington on Sept. 24

Sept. 16, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Jessica Jackley, co-founder of, the world's first person-to-person micro-lending Web site, will speak at Indiana University Bloomington next Thursday (Sept. 24).

Jessica Jackley

Jessica Jackley

Jackley will speak on the topic, "Eliminating Poverty, A Conversation about Microfinance," at 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave. Her lecture was rescheduled from this spring.

The event is being presented by the Trockman Microfinance Initiative, with support from the IU Student Association, the Kelley School of Business' undergraduate and student government programs, the Center for International Business Education and Research, IU departments of political science and economics, the International Studies Program and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Named as one of the top ideas in 2006 by the New York Times Magazine and called "revolutionary" by the BBC, 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.

In its first three years, has helped to raise more than $61 million and connected thousands of people across 120 countries.

Jackley's work has been featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "The Today Show," and also in the pages of publications such as The Economist, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She first saw microfinance in action while working in rural Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with Village Enterprise Fund and Project Baobab on impact evaluation and program development.

She speaks widely on microfinance and social entrepreneurship, and serves as a director on several boards related to microenterprise development, including Opportunity International. She also worked in the Stanford Center for Social Innovation to launch the inaugural Global Philanthropy Forum, and also at, Potentia Media, the International Foundation and World Vision.

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