Was watching Oprah months ago, she had this feature about different families from different cultures who are struggling to make ends meet. I thought, well that’s not original. Everyone on planet earth, except probably for the .01% of the privileged few, STRUGGLE all the time. From basic things like putting three healthy meals on the table everyday, medicine for the sick, education for the children, caring for the old… ah the world has too many struggles.
I was about to hit for another channel when SOMETHING ORIGINAL came on.
Enter KIVA.org .
Kiva is a catalyst. It acts as a CONNECTION from one who has money to one who needs money. This is not just money to have, but money to put into good use. Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. By choosing a loan on Kiva, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the entrepreneur you’ve sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.
Original ain’t it? No? Read on:
Kiva partners with existing microfinance institutions. In doing so, they gain access to outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide. Their partners are experts in choosing qualified entrepreneurs. That said, they are usually short on funds. Through Kiva, partners upload their entrepreneur profiles directly to the site so people can lend to them.
Kiva provides a data-rich, transparent lending platform for the poor. They are constantly working to make the system more transparent to show how money flows throughout the entire cycle. The below diagram shows briefly how money gets from you to a third-world entrepreneur, and back!