Another day on twitter, another opportunity to ‘meet’ someone cool and interesting.
Last week a tweet about a lovely change happening in the world caught my eye. It took me to this great blog – Life by words. I highly recommend you check out the post, its all about sharing, random acts of kindness and the growing collaborative consumption movement.
After I had read the post I sent @Lifebywords a tweet letting her know how much I enjoyed it. She in turn, thanked me and said some nice things about this blog, as well as commenting on all the stuff we have in common – topics, likes, age, location etc.
But one thing I did notice that @Lifebywords had already done, which had been sitting on my to do list for far too long, was to get involved with Kiva.
Kiva is all about leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions to create opportunity around the world. The Kiva site allows you to make micro-loans (as little as $25) directly to some of the world’s poorest entrepreneurs. They, in turn, use the money to start a business, and in the process often pull themselves (and their families) out of poverty.
Kiva (which means ‘unity’ in Swahili) works with local micro-finance institutions that both collect repayments from entrepreneurs and provide lenders with updates on how the entrepreneurs are progressing.
Kiva’s stats are pretty impressive – since being founded in 2005, 570,938 Kiva lenders have lent $204 million in loans and the repayment rate is 98.65%.
@Lifebywords invited me to join her lending team and that was just the final push I needed to make my first Kiva loan. The initial project her team was supporting had already been fully funded, so I decided to give my loan to a project that just needed $25 more to met its target – a salchipapa lady, called Beatriz, in Peru.
I love that through Kiva I can support Beatriz’s entrepreneurial spirit, while I am slowly developing my own!
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