When Joe was just a tiny baby, his super-cool Aunt Michele gave him a $50 credit at Kiva.
Their site explains them better than I can:
Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.
So, you can go to Kiva’s website and find a project that interests you, or an entrepreneur who catches your eye. Maybe it’s a barber in Beirut, or a cleaning lady in Mexico City.
Their request is outlined with an explanation of how much money they need and what they’ll use it for (new supplies, hiring an assistant, adding onto their store, etc.)
You lend a little bit of money ($25 will do it) to get them closer to their goal. And as business picks up, they repay you.
Patrick and I split that first $50 credit. He loaned $25 for a motorcycle repairman in Vietnam to get new tools. I loaned $50 for a woman in Mexico to regularly transport craftspeople from her small town to larger areas where their crafts could be sold.
Regular updates let us know how they were doing, and how close they were to paying us back.
That $50 has been repaid for some time now, and I just reloaned it. This time I used the search function to find women entrepreneurs (after reading about Half the Sky) who needed help.
So now Gloria in Mexico and Hayat in Lebanon are each getting $25 to invest in their retail businesses.
When Joe gets older, he’ll get to help pick out what kind of business we lend to, and where.
Go see where your $25 can help!