The gift (or I should say LOAN) that keeps on giving …
Here is an update on my KIVA venture.
You may remember that I wrote about this awhile back. KIVA is a service that specializes in micro-financing to deserving entrepreneurs the world over. For a mere $25 I can join with others and make it possible for a person, or a group of persons, to start a small business.
The people represented by KIVA are usually from the poorer countries and the women, in particular, would have a very hard time starting a business in the conventional way. It is interesting to note that the rate of pay-back for these loans is almost 100% ... much higher than that realized by bankers who loan the standard way.
Initially I invested $50. That was the amount that it cost me to loan to a couple in Cambodia and a woman in Peru. Then my children gave me $100 for my birthday with the hope that I would loan to 4 others. I did that and it brought my total to 6 entrepreneurs.
Now, in less than a year, I have loaned to 15 individuals in all and I have been able to do that without investing another dime of my own money! Here’s how...as soon as the people pay back a portion of their loans KIVA credits me with a percentage of it. Every time that it comes to $25 or more I add another name to my list.
I have the option to withdraw the money which means that I could have had my $150 initial investment back if that were my choice ... but I’ve opted to leave it where it is and to watch my list grow. I also have a blank map of the world and I write in the countries where my people live. So far I have two in Tanzania and Lebanon and one in each of these countries...Peru, Paraguay, Senegal, Mali, Togo, Rwanda, Axerbaijan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Cambodia and Vietnam.
I find this to be a very fulfilling venture and hope that a lot of you will check out the KIVA website. I’ll bet you’ll be hooked too !