Thursday, January 15, 2009

I love this!

As a (very) small business owner, I have a lot of sympathy for people struggling to make a living by owning their own business. I can't even imagine trying to do it in a country that has little or no support for aspiring entrepreneurs. I think that is why this organization struck a chord with me.

Has anyone heard of Kiva? This is a description taken from their website:

"Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world."

So essentially you donate money which goes to an individual in a country like Cambodia, Azerbijian or Bolivia to help them with purchases they feel they need to improve their business (you choose the individual by looking at their profile/story on the website). Their profile details their payment plan and the loan is repaid in the amount of time allotted. When the loan is repaid, you then re-lend to another applicant.

Sound too good to be true? Check out these statistics (also available on their website here):

Total value of all loans made through Kiva: $56,237,035
Number of Kiva Lenders: 420,850
Number of loans that have been funded through Kiva: 80,447
Percentage of Kiva loans which have been made to women entrepreneurs: 78.02%
Number of Kiva Field Partners (microfinance institutions Kiva partners with): 94
Number of countries Kiva Field Partners are located in: 43
Current repayment rate (all partners): 97.16%
Current default rate (all partners): 2.84%
Average loan size (This is the average amount loaned to an individual Kiva Entrepreneur. Some loans - group loans - are divided between a group of borrowers.): $435.43
Average total amount loaned per Kiva Lender (includes reloaned funds): $133.67
Average number of loans per Kiva Lender: 3.63

Amazing! I was so impressed I had to share. Please check out the site when you get a chance, I think it will impress you too.

If you have any feedback or tidbits about Kiva, I'd be interested so feel free to leave a comment!

1 comment:

Kenna Elizabeth said...

Kiva is *amazing*-- such a great example of what happens when someone pursues helping others... with passion and pesistence! Great inspiration! I'm glad you featured this!! :)