My first two Kiva loans are fully funded and starting to be paid back. Through Kiva, I am one of several people around the world who loaned money to Sofik, a widow in Armenia and Afag, a married mother of three in Azerbaijan. Both women needed a micro-loan to buy new sewing machines for their small clothing businesses. I love to sew.
The Kiva website defines micro-finance as “the supply of loans, savings, and other basic financial services to the poor.”
The genius of Kiva is that their website makes micro-finance fun and easy. You choose a borrower and make a loan. While your loan is being repaid, you get updates from your borrowers. Once repayment is complete, you can fund another loan, donate your funds to Kiva or withdraw them for other uses.
The hardest part is picking your borrower. You can fund small farmers in Cambodia, store owners in Lebanon, miners in Africa, artists in Pakistan and taxi drivers in Mongolia – the possibilities seem practically endless. Kiva allows you to narrow your search by country, gender and sector, but you can still spend hours reading stories and viewing profiles.
100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes directly towards funding loans; Kiva does not take a cut. Furthermore, Kiva does not charge interest to its Field Partners who administer the loans. Through people like you and me donating as little as $25, Kiva has given about $224 million dollars in loans in 59 different countries with a 98.8% repayment rate.
Make a Small Loan, Make a Big Difference – Check out Kiva.org to Learn How!