Help on the Home Front

Thursday, June 11, 2009
As many of you know, my favorite charity is Kiva, a micro-lending organization that allows me to lend small amounts of money to entrepreneurs in low-income countries. I like Kiva for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it's a self-sustaining project - as my entrepreneurs pay me back, I can re-lend the money in my account to others.

I currently have two accounts - one personal account, and another with frequent commenter and gal-pal extraordinaire The Mechanicky Gal. We use our Kiva account to deposit birthday and Christmas money and loan only to single ladiez (who are usually supporting children) as a show of female solidarity with our less fortunate sisters. Word.

However, I know that Kiva has been criticized for not offering this type of assistance for entrepreneurs in the U.S. There are a variety of reasons for this, including the fact that the U.S. has an existing infrastructure for small business loans, and loans in high income countries would need to be much larger in order to allow the entrepreneurs to succeed. Regardless of the reason, there are some who choose to donate their money to organizations who work in the U.S. I don't feel that way, but I understand the reasons for those who do, and I frankly respect all do-gooders, regardless of the cause they choose.

But now those folks can have their U.S. cake and eat it, too! Kiva has partnered with several U.S. based micro lending organizations and is now offering loans to U.S. based entrepreneurs.

I think this is a good thing, and the fact that Kiva's operations have grown so incredibly fast that they're able to include pretty much any entrepreneur who needs help is made of awesome. Half the time when I go to lend money on their site they're out of loans, so I don't think adding higher-dollar loans to their offerings is going to result in a paucity of capital. Through their lenders, Kiva loans out millions of dollars a month, all over the world. I'm happy to include U.S. based entrepreneurs in my portfolio.

I love it when a plan comes together.

2 comments:

Lady Brianna said...

That's awesome for everyone!

Do you have links to some of the charities you knit for? I loooove to knit, but there's not much call for it here in Phoenix, lol.

Janiece Murphy said...

Lady Brianna, I knit for the Longmont Colorado Senior Center Knit and Purl club where my Hot Mom is a member.

If you're really interested, drop me a note via the contact information on the sidebar, and I'll send you the contact info for their donation coordinator.