San Francisco (AP) - An Internet-based lending service is about to include needy entrepreneurs in the United States for the first time.
It's a sign of the world's spreading economic despair. Kiva has spent its first three and a half years raising money to finance cash-starved small businesses in 44 impoverished countries.
Starting Wednesday, Kiva is allowing U.S. small businesses to vie for funding alongside a melting pot of entrepreneurs that includes everything from a Cambodian fisherwoman to a Moldovan butcher to a Bolivian taxi driver.
The U.S. listings will start off with about 45 businesses in Boston, New York, Miami, Atlanta and San Francisco.
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