What is Kiva? (www.kiva.org)
It is a website that helps to facilitate making micro-loans to entrepeneurs in developing countries. The beauty about Kiva is that it uses the “Don’t give a man a fish, but teach him to fish” philosophy. You make a loan to an entrepeneur to help him or her grow their business, and they pay it back over a period of 6-24 months. As the funds are paid back to you, you can re-lend it to someone else. So it is a little like donating the same money over and over again, and hopefully helping someone a little less fortunate than yourself.
I was introduced to Kiva a few months ago by an old friend, and made my first loans which have to be made in denominations of at least US$25. In other words, if someone is borrowing US$200, they will need 8 investors at US$25 each. Of course you can invest in greater denominations too.
Today I received a notification that US$28 had been repaid on my loans, so I can re-loan it to someone else.
Who have I lent to?
You can see my lending profile here: www.kiva.org/lender/Liezl
I prefer many small loans, and splitting that between different countries. I hope to add another loan or two a month, and slowly build up my lending profile. But here is a flavour:
- Clifford Ackon Food Production/Sales, Ghana
- Gilda Matlava Personal Housing Expenses, Mozambique
- Laurence Gonzales Farming, Philippines
- Comfort Aina Charcoal Sales, Nigeria
- Ada Luz Erazo Solórzano Cattle, Nicaragua
- Caracato Group Grocery Store, Bolivia
- Lukaia Food Production/Sales, Ghana
Here is the geographical spread: