I just made my first two Kiva loans. Through Kiva, I loaned money to Sofik, a widow in Armenia and Afag, a married mother of three in Azerbaijan. Both women need a micro-loan to buy new sewing machines for their small clothing businesses. I love to sew.
The Kiva website defines microfinance as “the supply of loans, savings, and other basic financial services to the poor.”
Kiva makes microfinance fun and easy. You choose a borrower, make a loan and get repaid. Then you can fund another loan, donate your funds to Kiva or withdraw them for other uses. The hardest part is picking your borrower. You can fund small farmers in Cambodia, store owners in Lebanon, miners in Africa, artists in Pakistan and taxi drivers in Mongolia – just to name a few. The possibilities seem practically endless. Kiva allows you to narrow your search by country, gender and sector, but you can still spend hours reading stories and viewing profiles.
100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes directly towards funding loans; Kiva does not take a cut. Furthermore, Kiva does not charge interest to its Field Partners, who administer the loans. Through people like you and me donating as little as $25, Kiva has given about $224 million dollars in loans in 59 different countries with a 98.8% repayment rate.
Make a Small Loan, Make a Big Difference – Check out Kiva.org to learn how!