The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Green/Ethical – Kiva. Yep, it’s our award time again, and this year we’ve split them up into segments to make it easier to award to different types of products and services. These are obviously personal choices, so if you have any of your own recommendations to offer for a kind of Reader’s Choice in each category, please feel free to do so in the comments below each. I’ll be posting one a day over the next week.
First up is the ambitiously framed Green/Ethical category. To be honest there weren’t that many options that we felt had staying power and full-on integrity in this section, so Kiva was a bit of a standout. The innovative peer to peer lending service has been running for over 2 years now, and it seems to work well. It’s simple to use, clearly effective and it gives us who have, a chance to help those who haven’t. I made a few small Kiva interest free loans to tiny businesses around the world a while back and a couple of them have just been repaid, which is nice, since it means that we’ve helped someone get their business on its feet without onerous terms or interference. It’s a nice feeling, so I’ll be leaving the sums in the Kiva system for more future projects rather than taking them out, on a permanent basis probably.
Bizarrely, it seems that the service is currently a victim of its own success, as they have nobody left to lend to at the moment and an abundance of lenders, but I’m sure this will be addressed very soon.