Kiva.org: Microlending, or Paying it Forward

Posted by Bushel Basket in ,

In my daily web browsing, I came across a very interesting website: Kiva.org. It is a website that lets individuals give small loans to enterpeneurs in third world countries (or the two-thirds world). I've heard of microlending before, but I always thought of it as still being something that banks or financial organizations participated in, not individuals like myself. That's where kiva comes in. You can make a loan of as small as $25 dollars, with expected payback ususally from 6-18 months.

This appeals to me for a lot of different reasons. One, it's a practically painless way to get into the habit of supporting individuals. I'm not rich, nor do I ever really plan on becoming rich, yet I can give up $25 or so to support someone in need, especially when I will probably get that money back. Two, unlike a lot of mission or governmental work, this is giving money to people in need who are determining for themselves what they need. There is no governmental mandate for abstinence only sex education to receive AIDS funding, or church required evangelism to receive a new school. Third, it's giving me a new way to approach economics, a subject I previously thought of with as much affection as a root canal or driving during rush hour. I like the idea that the money I contribute will eventually come back to me, for me to re-invest or recoup as I see fit. And, if I lose the money, well, I can look at it as a charitable contribution that at least helped someone in need.

So, I'm starting to educate myself about micro financing and will be making an investment soon. I hope some of you do, too.

It makes me happier than Bert.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 30, 2008 at Sunday, March 30, 2008 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

2 comments

I was feeling all warm and fuzzy for most of that post. Now Bert will haunt my dreams.

March 30, 2008 at 4:51 PM

I use Kiva -- it's very cool. I've had one loan that's been repaid already, and three in repayment. :)

April 8, 2008 at 1:41 PM

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