The latter half of the 20th century saw the emergence of what many hailed as a major breakthrough in the global effort to combat poverty: The invention of micro-credit. The micro-credit method consisted of providing small loans to underprivileged people across the developing world enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty and into a prosperous future. This revolutionary idea was celebrated the world over for its practicality and prominent micro-credit pioneer Muhammad Yunus was even awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
The advent of online peer-to-peer technology has led to the emergence of Internet micro-credit platforms such as Kiva. Founded in 2005, it has emerged as a leader in peer-to-peer lending, connecting nearly one million micro-credit lenders to borrowers across 72 countries. It accomplishes this by facilitating the capital flow with local Field Partners (microfinance institutions, social businesses, schools and non-profit organisations), which directly disburse and collect loans on behalf of Kiva and its lenders.