Friday, September 29, 2006


BE A MICROFINANCIER


I’ve always admired Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, which provides ‘microfinance’ loans to poor individuals who seek to better themselves but aren't considered credit-worthy by standard banks. A beautiful idea.

Late last year I found a site called kiva.org, which arranged for small loans (by western standards) by folks like me to needy entrepreneurs in developing countries, the loan to be paid back at no interest. I joined right away, but since they had just started they were only working in one village in Uganda, and had run out of loan applicants! Yesterday I received an email from them, saying:

“We now have a large number of low income entrepreneurs from 12 countries in need of loans ... And each week, our local partners post more entrepreneurs - I hope you can come back to www.kiva.org and make a loan - and please tell your friends.

It’s been an incredible first year at Kiva and we thank you for being one of the first people to register for our service. Hope to see you on the site!

Thanks,

Matt

Matt Flannery
Co-founder and CEO
Kiva.org
Loans That Change Lives”

So I'm telling you, my friends. The great thing about Kiva is that you decide who to make your small loan to, and you can ‘recycle’ your repaid loans. This is not charity that winds up who knows where, but funding that goes where you think best; and just a small amount can make a huge difference in many lives, as you can see at the link just above.

An interview with one of the founders of kiva.org

3 comments:

Tabor said...

I just love it when people think outside the box to solve a problem in another good way. I will have to check this out when I get back stateside.

Jenn said...

Robert, thanks again for letting us know about Kiva. I picked a "spinster" like me and posted her links on my blog, asking readers to consider contributing to her loan in honor of my birthday. Within 2 days her loan was fully funded. This wouldn't have happened without you.

Robert Brady said...

That too is a great idea. Thanks, Jenn.