|Residence||San Francisco, California|
|Occupation||Co-Founder/President of Kiva|
|Board member of||Change.org Foundation, Watsi.org, VolunteerMatch|
Shah was born in Ahmedabad, India, and raised in Minnesota, graduating from Irondale High School. He attended Stanford University, where he pursued his interest in economic development, with a specific focus on microfinance. At the London School of Economics he received a research grant to study the microfinance work of the Self-Employed Women's Association.
Having begun his career as a management consultant, Shah was an early employee of and principal product manager at PayPal. Building off his college interest in microfinance, Shah took a sabbatical from PayPal in 2004 to prototype a concept of person-to-person microlending in India.
Upon his return to Silicon Valley in 2005, Shah joined Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley in launching Kiva and scaling it into a global organization. Kiva has since raised over one billion dollars in loans from over a million lenders in support of over two million entrepreneurs from eighty countries. Seventy-five percent of loans are disbursed to women, with a repayment rate of ninety-six percent.
In addition to serving as president of Kiva, Shah sits on the boards of other non-profit of organizations, including Change.org Foundation, Watsi, and VolunteerMatch. He is considered to be a part of the PayPal Mafia, a group of PayPal alumni who have gone on to found or co-found other successful companies, including YouTube, LinkedIn, Tesla Motors, and Yelp.
Awards and honors
- Fortune Magazine's 40 Under 40 List.
- Obama White House Champion of Change
- Kiva named as one Oprah's Ultimate Favorite Things
- Visionary of the Year Nominee, San Francisco Chronicle
- World Economic Forum - Young Global Leader selection
- Olympic Torch carrier for the 2008 Summer Games
- Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship
- Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs
Premal lives in San Francisco, California, with his wife and two children. He speaks widely about the potential for technology, business and humanity to address some of society's toughest challenges.
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