Jessica is an entrepreneur, investor, and speaker. Her work over the last decade has focused on financial inclusion, the sharing economy, and social justice.
She is best known as a cofounder of Kiva, the world’s first p2p microlending website. Kiva lets internet users lend as little as $25 to individual entrepreneurs, providing them affordable capital to start or expand a small business. Since its founding in October 2005 Kiva has facilitated over $1B in loans worldwide.
Jessica teaches Social Entrepreneurship at the Marshall School of Business at USC. She is a Venture Partner with SparkLabs Global Ventures, as well as an investor and advisor with the Collaborative Fund. She also recently served as Walt Disney Imagineering’s first Entrepreneur in Residence, focusing on projects related to corporate citizenship, the sharing economy, and happiness. She continues to provide expertise in these areas as an independent consultant on social impact initiatives and more.
Earlier in her career, Jessica was a Cofounder and CEO of ProFounder, a pioneering crowdfunding platform for U.S. entrepreneurs. The company joined forces with GOOD Inc. in 2010 to create new tools and experiences for their community of creators.
Jessica formerly served as a Visiting Practitioner at Stanford’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, and also taught Entrepreneurial Design for Social Change at Drew University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a 2011 World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader, and serves as an active board member or advisor for several nonprofit organizations including Habitat for Humanity. She holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business , a certificate in Global Leadership and Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Bucknell University, and honorary PhDs from Centenary College and Quinnipiac University.
Jessica lives in Los Angeles with her husband, author Reza Aslan, and their three young sons. Her first book, CLAY WATER BRICK: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least was published in June 2015 (Penguin Random House).