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Kiva is the World's First Online Micro-lending Program

May 13, 2010

Kiva lady

Posted by Kimmy Sophia Brown

Do you ever feel like the world has so many problems thatyou could never do anything to make a difference? Well, guess what! You can!

I just found an organization on the internet called, “Kiva”, http://www.kiva.org/, whosemission is to broker microloans to mostly third world entrepreneurs. They have recently begun to lend in the United States as well.

In their words:

“Kiva’s mission is to connectpeople, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.”

They seem to have a good system in place. It begins withmicro-lending institutions around the world called Field Partners, who screen participants with various data, such as their lending history and the feasibility of their business. You can look at photos of participants from around the world who would like to borrow money for their small businesses. You can choose who you would like to help. The entrepreneurs come mostly from poverty stricken areas. A minimum loan of twenty-five dollars is collected with other loans until their goal loan is reached, which will then enable them to start their business. An interesting note is that 82% of the loans go to women and many of them have children.

Looking at the photos makes me aware of how many hardworking and good people there are in the world, who are trying to support their families and help fortify the infrastructure of their countries.

The neat thing about this idea is that I'm actuallyhelping the world economy by reaching out to a specific person or persons. My small investment helps a hard working person with a good idea, but who was unable to get a loan from a bank to start their business. When they’re able to pay me back, I can use that same twenty-five dollars again to help someone else! They are really living the old proverb;

“If you give a man a fish, you feed him for one day. Ifyou teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

It’s very exciting. For the price of a couple of pizzas, Ican help grease the wheels of the world economy. I think that’s incredible.

Here’s a review of Kiva from The Smarter Wallet.

http://thesmarterwallet.com/2009/kiva-review-micro-lending-global-reach-peer-to-peer-lending/

Sam’s Club donated one million dollars to Kiva and has a link on their website too.

http://www2.samsclub.com/Giving/About/Kiva

Read the success stories yourself and find someone youwould like to help!

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