Kiva Microloans: Loans that Change Lives

Want to change the world? Do you have $25 to lend a hard working entrepreneur?

Lend a Kiva microloan.

How it Works

Kiva is a person-to-person microfinance website. Kiva enables individuals to lend money directly to entrepreneurs around the world. The microloans are used to start or expand very small businesses. Often the loans are for entrepreneurs who live in areas of the world where they do not have access to other fair loan agencies. Kiva makes it easy to search or browse through entrepreneurs' profiles. Loaning helps people reach economic stability and independence. Throughout the course of the microloan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. The minimum loan amount is $25. Your $25 will be pooled with loans from other people and then disbursed to the entrepreneur. The loans are repaid in very small monthly payments to your Kiva microlending account. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can re-lend to someone else in need. If you have $25 and an Internet connection, you can be a global financier working to alleviate poverty worldwide.

At the time of this post I have made 23 loans since I started micro loaning through Kiva. I love that you can re-loan the money again and again, thereby making a larger impact on a greater number of people without investing more money.

Picking an Entrepreneur

You can easily narrow your search for an entrepreneur by clicking the boxes on the left side of the “lend” page. In this way you can narrow by individuals or groups, men or women, country (using a cool map feature), or category, (education, agriculture, textiles, etc). Narrow your search using these options and then read through the proposals and pick one you want to help finance.

Sharing the Story

Kiva does a great job of giving you updates from the entrepreneur that you financed. They will periodically email you (if you want them to) to let you know when the microloan was funded in full, updates from the recipient on how they are using the loan, the impact that it has, and when the loan has been fully repaid.

Kiva also makes it very easy for you to share with your friends and family about your kiva microlending efforts. They have an easy to use Facebook and other social media share buttons that you can use when you make the microloan.

Groups and Community

Check out the community tab to find a group/community of lenders to join. You can share stories, challenge each other, or just track the totals. Or, start your own group and invite your family, friends, co-workers, etc to join.

I love Kiva because it is a sustainable solution. You are not just giving money (a band aid to global poverty’s gaping wound); you are giving loans that will transform lives and then be repaid so they can be re-loaned.

Kiva isn't the only way to make peoples lives better using the interconnectedness of the internet and the computer. Read Make People's Lives Better from Your Computer

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