Sunday, November 01, 2009

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 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 !


Blogger kenju said...

What a great thing to do!! I applaud you, Ginnie!

4:21 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Bless you! What a wonderful way to offer a little to help others. At the same time you gain an interest in other countries and culture and how ordinary people live.

I have been planning to set up an account for my three grandchildren. They recently had birthdays 13, 12 ,11. and this is my gift to them $50 each. They will choose who to help and hopefully learn many lessons in the process. The biggest lesson is that we need to give back, share our good fortune and help others.

Micro financing has been a great success. We have learned what the banks are not willing to believe, the poor are good loan risks.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Hi Ginnie,
Welcome Back! I have actually heard of this before. I never really knew much about it. It sounds like a very nice thing to do. I wonder if you get updated on how these people are doing. I think that would be interesting to hear about as well as fulfilling.
Love Di

5:18 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Phillip: That's a wonderful idea to set up accounts for your grandchildren...they will learn about the world, as well as about the fulfillment of giving.
Diana: yes, updates are given on some of the people and I can always write to the loaning organization to learn more about them.

4:47 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I vaguely recall you posting this. I used to show a vidclip to my students about how well these work. I really should give it a try.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I did it. Thanks.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

AC; I love a man who makes a decision and then acts on it !!

11:10 AM  

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