The site I'm doing this through is Kiva. From what I can tell Kiva is the current leader in microfinancing. There are thousands of members giving money to people across the world who need loans.
Here's how it works:
- You sign up for Kiva and fund your account with a credit card or PayPal
- Browse the many available loans that are available. There are filters to narrow your search to certain geogrphic areas, etc
- Make a loan of $25 or more to the individual of your choice. There will also be a request for a small donation for the operating costs of Kiva itself when you process the loan
- Months later repayment of the loan will begin (suprisingly it looks like there is a very high repayment percent right now)
- Take the money that has been repayed and repeat (or pull the money out of your account)
Currently there are three loans that I have helped to fund:
- A woman in Kenya who needed money to buy a cow
- A woman in Ukraine who needed funds to stock up on inventory for her seasonal business
- A man in Tanzania who wanted to make improvements to his pub
It will be a learning experience and will allow me to help entrepreneurs across the world. As my experiences with Kiva continue I'll be sure to post any important updates.