22 April 2010


I have recently begun experimenting with microfinancing. Microfinancing is a way for low-income and/or self-emploed people without access to regular banking services to get loans. It is an interesting subject so I decided the best way to learn more about it was to jump in and participate in it.

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.

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