Mark Flannery co-founded Kiva.org with his wife a few years ago and their success has forever altered the way entrepreneurs in the developing world get access to the small amounts of capital that can make a huge impact on their businesses and lives. In doing so theyâ€™ve also opened up an entirely new channel of micro lending to businesses and individuals who would like a way to help the smallest of businesses get going.
I think it sort of brings all this talk of economic downturn into better perspective for me.
Matt stopped by the Duct Tape Marketing podcast recently to share the Kiva story.
The incredible thing about this system is that itâ€™s a lending, not gifting, system that allows anyone to lend as little as $25 that might go towards a tiny fish selling business in Mozambique allowing the owner to buy more product and in doing provide a necessary service to a community.
Hereâ€™s how it works:
1. You go to the Kiva site and choose an entrepreneur who has posted and been screened for a need
2. You make a loan payment for as little as $25 through Paypal or credit card
3. Receive a journal so you can keep track of how your entrepreneur is doing
4. Withdraw or reloan the proceeds from your load
The amazing thing about this program which now raises millions of dollars a month for poor entrepreneurs is the load payback is at about 99%.
There a several other volunteer opportunities as well.
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