In order to learn more about the concept of microfinancing, the class engaged the help of an economist. Assistant Professor Lisa Schulkind, an economy professor at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, and her assistant, Mark Whitmeyer

Skyped with the classes to answer questions and give them insight into the world of microfinancing. Dr. Schulkind is a Heights Elementary School graduate!

Assistant Professor of Economics, Lisa Schulkind

Dr. Schulkind explains how and why Kiva works with this simple analogy.

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Skype call on November 25, 2013.
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Students operate camera and microphone during the call.
Students scribe answers to questions during the call.

Skype Call Questions
Mrs. Leary’s Class

Why aren’t some countries listed? (ex. Zimbabwe, Korea, etc.)
Kiva works with local banks. If they don’t have a local partner in that country, they don’t make loans there.

If people don’t have a computer, how do they apply/get into Kiva since it’s online?
The people work with a local bank. The people at the bank prequalify the person, and they work with them to put their profiles on the Kiva site.

How is all the money sent to the people?
The people work with a local bank. The bank gives the money to the person with the Kiva loan.

If you lend $100 to someone, how much will go to the person and how much will go to Kiva?
All of it goes to the person. The money is given to a local bank and the bank gives the money to the person.

Mrs. Egan’s Class

  1. What type of countries ask for loans? Which ones?
India, bangladesh ask for most of the loans
  1. Can you use Kiva without a computer?
No on our side. Yes on the other side, there’s a person there helping.
  1. How do you know if someone is faking their story? What happens to that person?
The bank interviews the person and tries to find out if they’re fake. Sometimes there are people who ask for fake loans.
  1. Are there more countries that need loans more than others?
There are some countries who have more people that need them but people everywhere ask.
  1. Why is there a time limit on how long a loan offer is on the website?
There is a time limit because there are a lot of people who ask for loans and not of enough people willing to loan.
  1. What is the maximum amount of money that can be offered?
There is not a maximum amount of money that can be offered.
  1. What if they don’t pay back their loan?
If they don’t repay their loan then they don't get to ask for another loan.
This doesn’t usually happen.

  1. About how many people ask for a loan each year?
There are many people asking for loans and millions loaning.
  1. Are there any interest rates on the loan?
There’s only interest for the people who work there. Interest rates are really low, lower than 5%.
  1. Have you ever met someone who asked for a loan?
  1. Can you do loans for endangered animals?
  1. Do you work for other websites like kiva
No. I don’t work for Kiva either.
  1. What is microfinance?
Microfinance is providing small loans to individuals.
  1. How did you become an economist?
I attended college and focused on taking classes that taught me about how to help people.
15. How do you lend the money?
You lend money by use the website to pay and pick the people you are interested in helping.