I just got turned on to Kiva.org, and I’m enamoured. You’ve heard of micro-loans? Small loans given to small business owners in developing countries? This site lets you become a lender, and lets you select individual entrepreneurs to finance. The loans themselves don’t earn you any interest as a lender, but you get to see these people’s faces and hear their stories. Once their projects are fully funded and the put their loan money to work, you actually get updates on how they are doing and what’s happening with their businesses. Isn’t that a GREAT idea? This website has apparently already loaned more the $6 million dollars to folks all over the world in the journey toward obliterating poverty.
This has been a good month for me at BloggingwithBeth, so I went looking for a woman entrepreneur to fund, and I found Maleyka Jebrayilova. She lives in Azerbaijan and she’s looking for a loan of $1075 to buy another cow to expand her cattle-breeding business. Can you help, even a little bit? Kiva will process loans for as little as $25, and you will get the money back in monthly payments (there is risk, as in any microfinance project, but I think it’s low – you can read more about it here). It takes literally a minute to register for the site and set up a profile, and then you can process your loan money for Maleyka through Paypal. It is INCREDIBLY easy, and I’m not just saying that because I’m an Internet teacher. 🙂
This is an AMAZING organization, so please consider giving it a whirl. And definitely consider helping this woman buy a cow – I’ll bet she would be very grateful.