KIVA is an amazing organization that provides micro-lending to people in need. Last year alone, KIVA will have facilitated loans totaling $100 million by 2010 through the generosity of its members.
If you’re not familiar with it, the concept of micro-lending is simple. It’s the extension of very small loans to unemployed or poor entrepreneurs who are not considered to be bankable. The entrepreneurs can ask for any amount of money, on average it’s about $600, and it’s funded in $25 increments by lenders.
So far, I have lent money to fix a taxi in Honduras; to stock a pharmacy in Tanzania; to help purchase a delivery motorcycle for a food market in Cambodia; to help fund a general store and clothing sales in Peru; for the purchase of cattle in Vietnam; a general store in Uganda; food production in Benin; and personal products sales in Bolivia.
The fact that I can personally help someone around the world by helping to fund their business is amazing! To them, it is amazing!!
To date, KIVA has almost 531,000 lenders in 209 countries providing mirco-loans with a 98.91% repayment rate.