Today, I want to talk about Kiva.
Kiva is one of my favorite worldwide organizations- they're a leader in microlending and are both trustworthy and well-run.
These microloans essentially work like this:
- Poverty-level entrepeneurs in developing countries put together their business plan, with the help of Kiva's business experts.
- Kiva posts this plan on their website (along with a profile of the borrower, and their local Kiva office).
- Any number of folks loan any amount of money to the borrower (until their base loan is met).
- The borrower then opens their store/etc, and begins paying off the loan as per their agreement.
- The payments are equally distributed among the lenders, until your full loan is paid off.
Now here's why I like it:
- We're empowering people, human to human, across the world. No corporations, no banks, no greed need that causes inflation and bankrupts folks through fees and interest. Just simple human compassion, enabling people to reach their dreams and become more self-sufficient.
- I especially enjoy donating to women in patriarchal areas, because what could be more empowering than enabling a female to own and operate business? The ripple effect is tremendous.
- And the entire time, you can track the progress of the new venture and the borrower's success. You can see who else (if they choose to be known) is donating to what borrowers and ideas. You're making a connection, globally, in the best way possible.
- It's like investing $25 or $50 into a piggy bank or under your mattress. Except that, even though it isn't earning you interest, it's empowering someone else to improve their community. You see where the money is going, and you get your investment back.
- There's no risk, because Kiva is so well-run that they catch defaults and whatnot before they happen (and work to fix the situation).
And right now, Kiva is offering a $25 Free Trial for you. That's right- they front the cash, you choose the recipient. Altruism without sacrifice...what are you waiting for?
Labels: empowered, enabling, free trial, global community, human to human, kiva, microlending, microloans