Open Capital

Open capital refers to new micro-scale economic systems which utilize the Internet to provide greatly increased means for the flow of capital between individuals and small businesses for development activities. For example, provides an online peer-to-per micro-lending application that collects funds from small-scale lenders and passes them to microfinance partners worldwide who distributes the funds to selected entrepreneurs. As of September 2008, Kiva has $42,356,160 in loans from 333,737 lenders with a total of 59,467 loans funded ( Although currently Kiva is supported by sponsorship and donations from its users, it is expected to be self-sustaining by the end of 2008. Activists armed with tools like Kiva can use it to fundraise for a political or social event and mobilize funds during disasters or emergencies. In sum, these innovations provide a greater ability to take advantage of mobilizing social networks and their economic resources that was otherwise not available in many developing countries.

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