What if $25 could change an entrepreneur’s life in a developing world? Choose an entrepreneur. Lend.Get Repaid.
Kiva, established in 2005, is a non-profit organization that allows people to lend money to others in 63 countries around the world. By enabling the disadvantaged with a loan, opportunities arise to create better lives for themselves and their families. The money you lend through Kiva is sent to Field Partners, the microfinance organizations who administer the loans to the hands in need.
Around the world, billions of people are living without access to the financial services that many of us take for granted. Without access to savings accounts, insurance and fund transfers, individuals have a hard time to maintain financial stability. Microfinance institutions offer loans of a few hundred dollars at a time to those in need. Sometimes, this is all it takes to aid an individual’s entire business or farm. With the additional resources provided, they would be able to increase their productivity and revenue in order to pay back the loan. What makes microfinance different? Respect and love. Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva, says that people living in poverty are not just looking for handouts. They want the same power that we so often take for granted: the ability to borrow money to build something bigger.
The fun part of all of this is that you get to choose your borrower. There is an online catalog you can browse, which include a photo and unique story of each individual. For example, Battulga from Mongolia needs $1,500 to purchase goods for his grocery business. Next to his name, you will see the percentage of how much is raised so far by others. Right under the percentage is a “lend” button you can click to send $25 or more.
Once the recipient gets back up on their feet, they will repay the loan. You can either get your money back or turn around and help someone else. How great is that?Not only can you lend money yourself, but you can also join a lending team. This allows you to interact with a community of other members who share the same goals. You can start a team with your friends or join an already existing team. The top teams are shown on the team leader board with the total dollar amount loaned.
There are currently 807,664 kiva lenders with $338,000,000 in loans.
Since Kiva allows loans of as little as 25 dollars and the repayment rate is 98.96%, you have nothing to lose!