I would like to introduce you to my next crazy idea (!) well kind of, it is not all mine, it is one that I have concocted with my lovely friend Victoria Parker.
For those of you who don’t know anything about KIVA, it is an online web portal with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.
KIVA have a vision for the world, where all people hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.
The KIVA model is pretty simple. They faciliate small loans to low income entrepreneurs, usually in third world countries. A very simplistic analogy is ’rather than give food; provide the funds to buy a fishing rod and teach them how to fish’.
KIVA encourages the everyday person, YOU (social entrepreneurs) to lend just $25 dollars to people less fortunate than ourselves. Funds are pooled together with others from around the world to loan out to people like Carlos from Nicaragua to farm pineapples or a loan to Emma from Phillipines to buy fertilizer for her rice crop,
Just today on twitter, I saw KIVA thanking Demi Moore and @DNA Foundation for working towards the elimination of human trafficking through her investment in KIVA projects.
I want to make it clear, this is not a charitable donation, but a LOAN – an important difference in the sense it’s about respectful empowerment for the person receiving the loan. This is not a handout!
For those looking for a once-off investment, there’s the option at the end of the loan period to entirely cash out of the transaction (get your $25 bucks back) but KIVA hopes that you will be so inspired with what you have done and the impact you have caused, that you will return time and time again, reinvesting your original $25 to different borrowers. It is impressive to note that KIVA has a repayment rate of 98.92% of their loans, a rate that I doubt most first world banks could report to their shareholders!
Here is a link to more KIVA lending statistics: http://www.kiva.org/about/stats
So what would I like from you, I hear you say?
Please become part of our special community and join the Effort for Others lending group and make a $25 loan today.
Even under the Effort for Others banner, you still get the choice to select the project and the person your investment will go to. Last night, I kicked off the lending team and made a $25 loan to Lidia who is trying to set up a dairy in Bolivia.
I hope you will join the Effort for Others funding team, and please help us encourage others to get involved also, by sending this post to your friends, retweeting this message on twitter, resharing on facebook and chatting to friends over the weekend about making a positive change!
Stay tuned for the launch of the Effort for Others website…..big plans are afoot!