IBM has announced [1] plans to contribute to the Mifos [2] open source microfinance software project. Microfinanciers loan small sums of money to the extremely poor to help them get businesses off the ground to improve not only the person who receives the loan, but the entire community. Kiva [3] while not affiliated with Mifos to my knowledge is one of the best known players in this space. It is a microfinance loan aggregator where individuals can loan small sums of money to projects that they select. The Mifos community seems to be quite well established and extremely active.

Benjamin Rosenbaum has an interesting blog post [4] (from way back in April) on how Grameen and Kiva fit relative to each other in the microfinance world and the benefits and limitations of microfinance.

Anyway, this looks like a great opportunity for both IBM and Mifos and I’m thrilled to see this announcement. This is the type of announcement that after almost 11 years with IBM, still makes me proud to be an IBMer.