Here’s how it works. Some struggling farmer in Samoa (or baker in Nicaragua, or farmer in Tajikistan) needs a loan of $800.00 to help her business along. You read her profile, and learn about the business, and the five children she supports. You sign up, and lend her $25.00 of the money she needs. A bunch of other generous people do the same, and soon the business owner has her $800.00 loan. She gets her money, improves her business, and starts repaying.
When the loan is repaid, you get your $25.00 back. You can then lend it to another business, like maybe to the general store owner in Azerbaijan who wants to expand. Or you can cash out, take your $25.00, and run. Kiva’s about page tells you more about how it all works.
How much better can it get? It’s easy. It’s fun. It helps! You see the profiles of the people you’re helping, and you even get your money back at the end of the loan term.
Here are the businesses in my Kiva portfolio. I hope you’ll join me, and post a link to your Kiva portfolio once you’ve selected a business or two to help. It’s a great project for you to do by yourself, or as part of a group. (I’ve come across one school group on Kiva, and hope to see more.)
Isn’t Kiva the best use of web technology you’ve ever seen?