Peter Hentges (jbru) wrote,
Peter Hentges

Making a difference

You may have heard of microlending, the process of private people making small loans to individuals in developing countries. Its been so in-the-news lately that the people at have put a limit on the amount that you can loan budding entrepreneurs. Each person is limited to donating $25 to one of the individuals Kiva has identified has needing assistance.

I think this is great news. Putting a fixed limit on each loan means that dollars get spread around more and it also puts an amount of a loan in reach for more people. Seeing that a Mexican woman selling clothes needs $1000 to expand her inventory or a man with five cows in Azerbaijan wants $500 to expand his herd can seem a bit daunting. But watching the $25 increments add up day by day is a testament to the generosity of people.

I also think Kiva handles things in a cool manner. The money you give them gets routed directly to the recipients. They pass on 100% of the amount you give. You can make an additional donation (they suggest 10% of your donation) to help them pay the rent. When the loan given out is paid back, the money gets routed to "your" account so you can send it back out again! A single donation just keeps giving! They also post updates on the individual entrepreneurs so you can track how the people you're helping are doing.

Give them a look and help if you can.

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