Microlending Through Kiva.org
Microlending really came into its own in 2006. Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to “create social and economic development from below.” The basic idea behind microlending is that if you provide a loan for as low as, say $10-$50, you can provide an impoverished person with the money to start a grocery, barber shop, tailoring service, or any other enterprise, and so promote the well being of both the borrower and his local community. Most of these people and communities have either been ignored by commercial banks or their home countries do not have adequate banking systems. This is not charity. Repayment rates are better than those experienced by a lot of credit card or finance companies. Some banks discovered this and are now starting their own microlending departments.
Now you, too, can become a microlender and, for as little as $25, directly help a specific entrepreneur lift themselves out of poverty. Kiva.org has established relationships with microlenders around the world. Specific business proposals are presented on the website, and you chose exactly the businesses you want to support. Processing is handled through paypal. Kiva is a non-profit organization and your loans won’t earn any interest. Still, this is not charity, and you can watch the success of the endeavors you support unfold through monthly updates.