Monday, June 11, 2007
Be a Banker to the Poor
The website of the day is Kiva (thanks to Nicholas Kristof at the New York Times!). No flashy graphics or cool gizmos - just a real cool concept. Kiva allows you to make loans to poor farmers and entrepreneurs in Third World countries to help get their businesses going. Studies have repeatedly shown that micro-credit is far more successful than foreign aid in uplifting these communities, and now Kiva provides a platform for you to participate with loans as small as $25. The default rate for most of the Field Partners - the agencies that actually disperse the money and audit the businessmen is ... take it slow ...zero, zilch, nada. At the end of the term of the loan, you get your money back and retain the option of either taking the money or rolling it into another loan. Great stuff!