Kiva.org – loans that change lives
Roughly 4 billion people in developing countries do not have access to financial markets, such as credit, savings and insurance (Rabobank, 2015). Formal financial institutions like banks usually refuse to serve poor households and micro-enterprises because of the high transaction-costs involved.
However, access to financial markets and the resulting increase in entrepreneurial activities is often the only way for developing countries to get out of poverty (King & Levine, 1993). Another important function of financial markets is the prevention of newly arising conditions of poverty through, for instance, accidents.
Micro-financing institutions help the poorest of the poor to get access to money, but often do not have the financial resources to serve many people.
Thats where Kiva.org comes in:
Kiva is a non-profit organisation with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty (Kiva.org/about). The organisation brings small loans to entrepreneurs all around the world to start their own businesses, by cooperating and supporting micro finance institutions all over the world. The company provides their services through a digital platform, that connects you, the lender, with people looking for micro loans.
100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes directly towards funding loans; Kiva does not take a cut.
I am lending on Kiva for around 1,5 years now. The relatively small amount of money that I invested (25$ per month for the first 6 months = 150$ ), has been relent over 3 times now (450$). I have been able to support 17 entrepreneurs from 7 different countries. The fact that you are not donating, but lending money to motivated individuals who will be empowered to ultimately strengthen their local economies is very inspiring – and FUN!
Sign up and see for your self!
R.G. King & R. Levine, 1993, “Finance, entrepreneurship and growth”, Journal of Monetary Economics, 32(3), pp. 513-542
Rabobank, 2015, “The Rabobank View: Access to Financial Services in Developing Countries”