Archive for June 2007

Kiva.org

23rd 2007f June 2007

I was going to write a rambling post about Facebook and social networking sites today, but I found something much more worthwhile to do. I discovered a short video about a site called KIVA through Guy Kawasaki’s blog. Kiva is a P2P micro finance site that connects normal people in developed countries with entrepreneurs and small business owners who are making a difference in their communities in developing nations.

Tsevi from TogoI’ve just joined kiva and contributed $25 towards a $750 loan for Tsèvi Bedzra a 29 year old barber in Togo in Africa. He’s applied for the loan to buy electric clippers and other equipment for his barber shop, he feels this will enable him to be more profitable and better support his son.

All of the entrepreneurs on KIVA are vetted and approved by loan officers from micro-finance organisations on the ground. When Tzevi’s load application was approved his picture was taken and posted to the site with his details, where I found him.

You can go to Kiva’s website and lend to someone in the developing world who needs a loan for their business – like raising goats, selling vegetables at market or making bricks. Each loan has a picture of the entrepreneur, a description of their business and how they plan to use the loan so you know exactly how your money is being spent – and you get updates letting you know how the business is going. The best part is, when the entrepreneur pays back their loan you get your money back – and Kiva’s loans are managed by microfinance institutions on the ground who have a lot of experience doing this, so you can trust that your money is being handled responsibly.


Kiva - loans that change lives

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