I am a long-time supporter and huge fan of Kiva.org, a micro-lending platform that makes loans to small businesses all over the world – including the U.S., but especially in regions where small businesspeople have little or no access to capital.
A core premise of GreenerDailyLife.com is that business can be a powerful engine for positive change – for empowering people and improving their quality of life. Kiva does this incredibly well. Remember, Kiva makes loans – investments, really – it is not a charity. Kiva lenders make loans $25 at a time, choosing the individuals with specific needs for capital that appeal to them. When a loan is repaid, as over 97% are, you can re-lend it or withdraw it. Re-lending it allows you to see the same $25 power one promise after another. It’s truly wonderful.
Kiva is now 10 years old, with the following numbers to prove its success:
- 1.5 million lenders
- 2 million borrowers in 84 countries, 75% of them women
- $860 million lent
- 97.1% repayment rate
Please take a look at Kiva.org and, if you like what you see, consider loaning $25 to empower a small businessperson who has no other access to capital. As they say, “Dreams are universal. Opportunity is not.” Let’s close that gap.
Please also consider participating in Kiva’s Thunderclap campaign, BE THE SPARK, this coming Tuesday, 6/21 (rescheduled from 6/14). What’s a Thunderclap? At exactly noon Eastern Time on Tuesday, a one-time message will be sent to all participants’ social networks (the networks they choose to participate with), allowing each one to multiply her or his voice by dozens or hundreds or thousands of friends and followers. Here is the message that will be sent:
As I write this note, over 9 million people are scheduled to receive this message at noon on Tuesday. Please join me and add your voice and your network to this inspiring and incredibly worthwhile project. Learn more here.
– Chet Van Wert
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