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Addicted to Kiva


One of the coolest things I've done over the last year or two has been to get involved with Kiva.

Tonight I just invested into helping two people make their dreams come true while providing food for their families. In July of 2007 I blogged about Kiva here. You can check out what I thought then and I'll give you a refresher below:

Basically I want to encourage you to sign up and invest. The money is repaid back to you into an account you can then draw from or use to reinvest. Kristy and I have a habit of leaving our money in the account and just reinvesting. The whole concept is called microfinance. If you're not familiar, check out Kiva's explanation here.

At the end of the day if you think your life is being disrupted by the economy you may want to check out Kiva and read the many stories out there of people who are in far worse shape than you will ever likely experience. Then take a second and see if you couldn't spare a few bucks to give it a test run. It'll become one of the most rewarding parts of your month and it'll give you a positive addiction that you'll thank me for later.

Here's how Kiva works:

Choose an Entrepreneur, Lend, Get Repaid

The below diagram shows briefly how money gets from you to a developing-world entrepreneur, and back.

1) Lenders like you browse profiles of entrepreneurs in need, and choose someone to lend to. When they lend, using PayPal or their credit cards, Kiva collects the funds and then passes them along to one of our microfinance partners worldwide.

2) Kiva's microfinance partners distribute the loan funds to the selected entrepreneur. Often, our partners also provide training and other assistance to maximize the entrepreneur's chances of success.

3) Over time, the entrepreneur repays their loan. Repayment and other updates are posted on Kiva and emailed to lenders who wish to receive them.

4) When lenders get their money back, they can re-lend to someone else in need, donate their funds to Kiva (to cover operational expenses), or withdraw their funds.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Tuesday, February 17, 2009

1 Comments:

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Deneen said...

Good stuff Tally. We need perspective. It boggles my mind that such a seemingly small investment can help start a business in other countries.

 

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