Kiva Microfinance Organization
I choose to help the world making Micro Loans through Kiva
Hopefully I'll convince you that you should microfinance some businesses too. These businesses have a huge positive impact upon their communities but wouldn't be able to expand without some small business financing or microcredit. This is where Kiva comes in, matching you with entrepreneurs. But a warning: IT'S VERY ADDICTIVE. Once you get started, you won't be able to stop using Kiva microfinance. I've made over 100 loans over the past couple of years.
Oh yeah, and all the money I make from this lens I'll be donating to Kiva for their operating expenses.
My Experience with Kiva microfinance
It all started off for me about 4 years ago, when a friend lent me a book about Microfinance. Most of the details in that book are long-forgotten but I took one most valuable thing from it: Kiva. I was immediately intrigued when I checked out the website...I could lend as little as $25 to an entrepreneur in a poor country, it would be pooled together with other lenders and that person could take the money and expand their business. They'd pay us back in monthly installments. And when I got that money back, I could immediately lend it out again. It was amazing, and seemed like such a tangible way that I could use my resources to make a difference in the world.
I was hooked and now it's 4 years, 40 loans and $1225 later and I'm still going strong. I choose to lend mostly to women, because it's often them who need a leg up in the world. I also lend mostly to Africans because it seems like the continent with the most need and where aid clearly hasn't worked. Perhaps entrepreneurship can.
What is Kiva and how it works
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Your Loan Stats
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How Kiva Works
This is straight from the Kiva Website:
I. Kiva Partners with a Microfinance Institution
Kiva partners with existing microfinance institutions around the world (we call them Field Partners). These organizations that have expertise in microfinance and a mission to alleviate poverty facilitate Kiva loans on the ground. Our Field Partners know their local area and clients and do all the leg work required to get Kiva loans to the entrepreneurs.
.II. Field Partners Disburse Loans and Upload Stories
Field Partners disburse loans as soon as they are needed. The Field Partner collects entrepreneur stories, pictures and loan details and uploads them to Kiva. Volunteer editors and translators review the loan requests and publish them to Kiva.org.
.III. Lenders Browse Profiles and Lend
Lenders browse loan requests and select which ones they'd like to fund. Lenders can fund as little as $25 and as much as the entire amount of the loan. Kiva aggregates funds from Kiva lenders and provides them to the Field Partner.
.IV. Kiva Disburses Lenders' Funds to the Field Partner
The Field Partner uses the funds to replenish the loan they've already made to the entrepreneur. Kiva provides these funds on a schedule that accommodates the Field Partners' banking procedures.
.V. Entrepreneurs Repay Their Loana
The Field Partner collects repayments from Kiva entrepreneurs as well as any interest due and lets Kiva know if a repayment was not made as scheduled. Interest rates are set by the Field Partner, and that interest is used to cover the Field Partner's operating costs. Kiva doesn't charge interest to its Field Partners and does not provide interest to lenders.
VI. Kiva Provides Repayments to Lenders
If there is already money in the Field Partner's account, or once their payment is received, Kiva uses these funds to credit the appropriate lenders with their loan repayments. Lenders can re-lend their funds to another entrepreneur, donate their funds to Kiva (to cover operational expenses), or withdraw their funds via PayPal.
Kiva Entrepreneurs on CNN
The Pedro Story
Kiva on PBS - Exploring the impact of microfinance in Uganda
Who do you loan to?
The perfect present
Wondering what to get that impossible to buy for person for Christmas or their birthday? Kiva! You can give gift certificates by email. Get other people hooked too!