I just made two loans to business owners using a micro-lending enterprise called Kiva. You can go to Kiva’s website and make a loan to someone in the developing world to support his or her business. Each loan has a picture of the entrepreneur, a description of their business and how they plan to use the loan- and you get updates letting you know how the business is going. As a micro-loan, when the entrepreneur pays back their loan to their sponsoring organization, you get your money back – and Kiva’s loans are managed by microfinance institutions on the ground who have a lot of experience doing this, so you can trust that your money is being handled responsibly.
I made two loans today– both, coincedentally, to individuals in Paraguay. The first loan was to Antonio Garay who has a glass business. I couldn’t resist making the loan to him because he was so close to the total that he needed, and so I could help bring his total to 100% of his need with a loan that I could afford. The second loan went to Wilma Caballero in Paraguay who owns a clothing shop in the local market and would like to buy more merchandise for it to grow her business. She still needs another $850.00 to complete her loan request of $1,025.00 (you can loan as little as $25.00!). That is just 34 readers of this blog entry donating $25 each. Let’s launch a little Hijas Americanas micro-lending movement to get this business off the ground by clicking on the link below to make a loan to Wilma Caballero too:
Sometimes, it feels impossible to alleviate poverty. I have such an interest in the micro-lending movement and have donated to micro-lenders in the past, but this is the first opportunity that I have seen where one can really engage in the process (I am sure there are more). If the effort to support Wilma goes well, I’d love to partner with the readers of the Hijas Americanas blog to support a new business owner on a regular basis. So join us in changing the world- one loan at a time. And feel free to leave a comment on the blog if you think we should keep trying to do this as a team on some sort of regular basis. If so, feel free to suggest a possible future loan receipient from the Kiva list– I am completely open to suggestions!
What others are saying about www.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