A pioneer in the Crowdfunding space is making the commencement speech to the UCLA class of 2012.
Entrepreneur Jessica Jackley, co-founder of an innovative peer-to-peer micro-lending website, will be the UCLA College of Letters and Science‘s 2012 commencement speaker. More than 6,000 students are expected to receive bachelor’s degrees at the ceremony, which will be held tomorrow, June 15, at Drake Stadium on the UCLA campus.
“Jessica Jackley’s seminal work using social media to create social change makes her an ideal selection to reinforce this year’s commencement theme of leadership that is transformative,” said Judith L. Smith, UCLA dean and vice provost of undergraduate education. Hear, hear!
In 2005, Jackley co-founded the micro-lending site Kiva, a hugely popular and successful International micro-lending site, which allows Internet users to lend as little as $25 to individual entrepreneurs, providing affordable capital to help them start or expand a small business. Kiva has facilitated nearly $300 million in loans among individuals in more than 200 countries.
She is also a venture partner with Collaborative Fund, which focuses on investing in creative entrepreneurs who want to change the world through emerging technologies.
Jackley has been recognized widely for her leadership and accomplishments. She is the recipient of the 2012 Symons Innovator Award from the National Center for Women and Information Technology and was honored with the 2011 “No Boundaries” Innovation Award from The Economist magazine. She was a finalist for Time magazine’s 2009 ranking of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Jackley earned an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and political science from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. She is currently a visiting practitioner at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.
Crowdfunding continues to legitimize and come of age.