Over the past five years I have assisted 38 entrepreneurs in developing countries to fulfil their dreams, or just helped them earn money to put food on the table. And I’ve done this with a total of USD 208.
In early 2009 I found Kiva, a web service devoted to micro lendings with the smallest deposit of just $25 (€20 or SEK 180). In May 2009 I made my first deposits and co-funded Salifou in Benin to purchase stock for his electronics store and Jonatan in Peru to buy wool for his knitting.
At first I was sceptic but as I saw the repayments coming in I realised this was a fantastic idea. This is not charity, I help real people to earn money for themselves and I most often get my money back.
As I get repaid I relend to new entrepreneurs and I have over these five years just lost about $41. My $208 has so far helped 38 entrepreneurs with $1,375.
If you haven’t tried Kiva yet do it now. It is helping real persons, helping themselves – and it feels good too.