Have you ever heard of microlending? I was a proud member of the group of lenders who, thanks to Kiva.org, lent a larger sum of money to this hardworking businessman called Leonard Joseph. Mr. Joseph operates a fruit and vegetable stall in Tanzania. His industry has been amazing. Through Kiva.org, he borrowed about $950 for working capital to invest in his business, and to be repaid over 6-12 months. In fact, it was repaid in full, ahead of schedule. I’m now looking for another lender to help out in a similar way.
Location: Dar es Salaam , Tanzania
Activity: Produce Sales
Loan Amount: $950.00
Loan Use: WORKING CAPITAL
Repayment Term: 6 – 12 months
Start Date: Aug 1, 2006
Status: Paid Back
Kiva is a wonderful organisation that makes possible lending to people in developing countries who wouldn’t be able otherwise to borrow any money for their small businesses. Commercial banks wouldn’t loan to them, because they lack the traditional assets that commercial banks would look for. Other lending companies might extract usurious rates of interest because of the unsecured nature of the lending. The result would be a disaster, if the merchant goofed in one of the payments. And governments, especially in developing countries, do not make good lenders.
So, if you think microcredit can make a difference in someone’s life, don’t wait for the U.N. or some other agency to take up the program. Do it yourself and lend today.
How It Works
Kiva works in a peer-2-peer type of method. It collects payments (as low as $25), aggregates the payments into larger amounts through a self-selection process. Then matches them with individual clients recommended by partner organizations who manage the repayments. For lenders, you simply create an account at Kiva, then use Paypal to add the money to the pool. Once the money is received, you can select your lending programs as you wish. The money is aggregated and loaned. Once repayments are made, you will see them in the lender’s page. When repayment is complete, your money becomes available to withdraw or relend. Of course, no interest is charged as the project is designed to help people in the developing world help themselves and their families. However, the money is also handled by Paypal free of charge.