Kiva and Microlending

What’s Kiva?

We depart from Web marketing today for a discussion of my favorite charity, Kiva, and a chance for you to help someone at no cost to you.  It’s a good thing.  Kiva lets each of us make micro-loans to entrepreneurs in third world countries, helping them provide better lives for themselves and their families by building their businesses.  The loans are typically $1,000 or so but Kiva breaks them into $25 pieces that we can contribute.  But, as I said, you can make a loan without contributing anything.

My Own Experience

I’ve been lending for a few years now.  As an existing loan is repaid, those funds come back to your account.  You can withdraw them or relend them.  Typically when I get about $20 accumulated, I’ll make a new $25 loan and add $5 or so.  Over time, I’ve lent $1,500, with most of that recycled.  I’ve had only one loan go bad; all the others have been repaid so far.  Here is my experience and how it stacks up with the typical Kiva lender:

What You Can Do

Kiva has a donor who is willing to fund new lenders for a $25 loan at no charge to them!  So this gives you the chance to make a loan to an entrepreneur in another country in about 5 minutes of your time, at no cost to you.  And the loan you’re making is a load that wouldn’t happen without your participation–you will really be helping someone, and it won’t cost you a cent.

All you have to do is click on this link, enroll as a Kiva lender and you’re in!  You’ll get to make a $25 loan at no cost to you, and so will I, once you’ve done it.

The Bottom Line

First, please forgive the departure from Web marketing today!  But, please, visit the Kiva site and make a loan to a third-world entrepreneur.  You’ll find the photos and stories behind the loans that are offered to be fascinating.  These people who are running their businesses in third world countries are really inspiring.

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