Microfinancing & Kiva.org
A big problem in developing nations is that individuals with potential to improve their society’s economic situation are unable to do so because of lack of funds. Taking out a loan is difficult because they lack credit history or can’t afford to pay back with interest. Microfinance is a way of allowing individuals to get their dreams jump-started.
The simplest way to get involved in microfinancing efforts is via Kiva.org. This non-profit works with organizations in specific regions which interact directly with borrowers in the area. The field partner lends money to the borrowers, and then acquires the funds from Kiva. Kiva is funded by individuals who select the borrowers, then lend in $25 increments. The diagram at the bottom of the page demonstrates a simplified version of how microfinancing on Kiva.org works.
I’m personally a huge fan of Kiva. Because the borrowers pay me back on a regular basis, I can either reloan or donate on a regular basis. Plus I’m a member of a lending team, which means I get to talk to lenders with similar interests, lend according to a monthly theme, and get excited about meeting goals and competing with other teams.
Whether they’re using the loan to fix their taxi, purchase livestock, buy school uniforms for their children, or stock up on inventory for their store, microfinancing is a great opportunity for low-income borrowers to improve their lives and communities.