Microfinance

I didn’t post this yesterday because I didn’t want to run afoul of April Fool’s Day. I’d like to share a splendid online non-profit that is doing good things in the world, and pulling it off on a shoestring: http://www.Kiva.org

Kiva is a non-profit that allows you to make a small 0% loan to low income entrepreneurs in the developing world (microfinance). Individuals like me can help provide affordable working capital for the poor — money to buy a sewing machine, livestock, etc. — and empower them to earn their way out of poverty.

Kiva works through partnership with existing microfinance institutions. The partners choose qualified borrowers from applicants in communities across the world. Through the Kiva.org website, borrower profiles are displayed so you can select who you might want to lend to. 100% if the money you lend goes to the borrower. Transactions take place through PayPal. PayPal is supporting Kiva.org by providing free payment processing.When the loan is repaid, the money is available to you again. You can take it back or lend once more. This is not a gift. It’s a loan.

Microfinance loans worldwide are generating repayment rates of 97% . Check out the Kiva FAQ for any questions you might have. Look at the United Nations Capital Development Fun website for information on microfinance projects in general. (UNCDF: Basic Facts About Microfinance) http://www.uncdf.org/english/microfinance/facts.php

When I decided to lend $50 to a woman in Samoa who is building a seamstress business, I have to say I was moved by the feeling of connection I had afterward. Here is someone I will never meet, who is working hard, and who, as soon as her loan is fully subscribed, will have a leg up in supporting her family.

Kiva borrower Telesia Seumanu of Samoa.

Think about this. Think of the return the world gets on a $25 or $50 loan that helps someone build a future. Again, the link is http://www.Kiva.org. And feel free to spread the word!

PS: Last night I received word that Telesia Seumanu’s loan of $800 has been fully subscribed and disbursed to her. How neat is this?

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Published in: Uncategorized on April 2, 2007 at 10:15 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a great idea. Will check it out tomorrow! What a way to make a difference without having to be a millionaire first! Thanks, Susan.

  2. It feels good, Betty. Some ideas just sing, and I think this is one.

    S.


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