When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

01 November 2005

Kiva: Microloans to the developing world

Kiva.org is a "charitable loan" organization that allows interested folks in the First World to make a difference by offering microloans (as little as $25 or so) directly to businesses in the developing world:
By choosing a business on our website and then lending money online to that enterprise, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive monthly email updates that let you know about the progress being made by the small business you've sponsored. These updates include reports on loan repayment progress, photos of new capital equipment, narratives on business growth and standard of living improvements, and more. As loans are repaid, you will get your original loan money back.
This is a great take on the old "sponsor a child" idea that charities have been flogging for years, with some substantial differences in terms of transparency and overhead, and the very real likelihood of repayment and eventual self-funding of continuing operations.


Related: Center for Economic Self-Reliance at Brigham Young University (good information on microcredit and microloans)

Hat tip: Cory at BoingBoing

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