This post is related to my May 8th post as well as my May 16th post. I first became aware of Kiva through Bill Clinton’s book, Giving, and then came across it on some other blogs, especially Julia’s blog, How I Changed the World Today. I then began lending to Kiva and I just now made another loan to Kiva before I wrote this post. In fact, I was the first lender to this group of entrepreneurs in Paraguay.
The thing that I find so compelling about Kiva is that you are loaning money to worthy recipients, not giving it. Kiva lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur in the developing world–empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty. You loan as little as $25, receive updates, and get repaid as the business succeeds.
Theoretically (and in reality), you could take $100, give four $25 loans over a staggered amount of time and, as each loan is repaid, you could re-invest that $25 back into Kiva. Your initial $100 investment could go on helping worthy recipients for years and years. I can see how this method of giving might appeal to a broader base of people–especially in these economically difficult times. There are all sorts of stats available on each loan offered so that you can track when your money will be repaid, the past history of the lending partner, etc. It’s a very grassroots way of participating.
What others are saying about Kiva.org:
‘Revolutionising how donors and lenders in the US are connecting with small entrepreneurs in developing countries.’
‘If you’ve got 25 bucks, a PC and a PayPal account, you’ve now got the wherewithal to be an international financier.’
— CNN Money
‘Smaller investors can make loans of as little as $25 to specific individual entrepreneurs through a service launched last fall by Kiva.org.’
— The Wall Street Journal
‘An inexpensive feel-good investment opportunity…All loaned funds go directly to the applicants, and most loans are repaid in full.’
— Entrepreneur Magazine
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