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Kiva and Silatech launch online entrepreneur micro-loans

New programme allows online loans to young Arab entreprenuers of as little as $25

Kiva and Silatech launch online entrepreneur micro-loans
Kiva provides a platform to make micro-loans to worthy projects.

Online micro-lending platform Kiva has announced a partnership with Qatar's Silatech to develop an online funding programme for young Arab entrepreneurs.

The Kiva Arab Youth campaign will allow people to make loans online of amounts as low as $25, to help fund local business start-ups.

Silatech, a social enterprise formed to help create jobs for Arab youth, will provide up to $125,000 to match loans made via the www.kiva.org/arabyouth campaign.

Lenders will be able to invite family and friends to support their selected projects, and create lending teams to combine efforts. The platform will also allow leaders in their communities or organizations to come together to promote the campaign through their networks. Corporations and social investors can contribute along with Silatech toward boosting their loan matching funds, encouraging more individuals to lend.

Kiva and Silatech are also identifying additional local and regional microfinance partners.

"Charity has traditionally played a large role in the social fabric of Arab societies," said Ramakant Vempati, senior advisor, Strategy, in Silatech's Microenterprise Unit. "Through Silatech's partnership with Kiva we are offering new, innovative and technology-enabled ways to direct that sense of social responsibility toward young Arabs struggling to build a sustainable future."

"Kiva provides opportunities for everyday people to lend their support to Arab youth, and contribute to a larger vision of an Arab world where everyone has the financial resources they need to truly succeed," said Premal Shah, president of Kiva. "Kiva's partnership with Silatech doubles the impact of your loan and enables a vibrant, ambitious and hopeful generation of Arab youth to participate in our global economy."

"Millions of young Arabs are trying to make a living on their own, despite often difficult conditions and low incomes," said Dr Tarik Yousef, CEO at Silatech. "Far too many of these microentrepreneurs lack reliable affordable capital, preventing them from building a sustainable business. Silatech's microfinance loan programs are a way of addressing this shortfall and our partnership with Kiva provides a proven platform that gives individuals an opportunity to help aspiring young microentrepreneurs."

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