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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Micro loans, major impact

Ki•va \´kē-vƏ \ n [Hopi] : An underground or partly underground chamber in a Pueblo village, used by the men especially for ceremonies or councils.


Kiva the little shop of honors, the honor system that is allowing folks like you and me to invest a little or a lot in your fellow man, woman, child.

From their site:We let you loan to the working poor

"Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence.

Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back."

Here’s the way it works, Kiva provides a forum for borrowers seeking a small loan for a new start up, or to capitalize an existing small business or just to improve the overall condition of life for their family in a developing economy.

The prospective borrower's story is told on Kiva’s website and potential investors can choose which loan application to fund with small loans starting at $25. Pooling these resources, a borrower promises to pay back these micro-loans over a predetermined life of the loan.

The loans are non-interest bearing so don’t look to double your money but do expect to get your money back; they have a 99.7 % payback rate, along with the knowledge that you have done something meaningful.

And the real payoff, you can turn right around and recycle (reloan) your money to help someone else.

Greener Magazine


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