Help me microloan $500 $600 on Kiva

I’ve been more than fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to attend so many fun events, meet so many great people and play with the latest cool gadgets as a result of this blog, I really owe it to everybody that’s supported me. This month Google AdSense has served me particularly well thanks to an appearance by a special somebody at CES which drew enough traffic for me to generate a nice chunk of above-average advertising revenue.

I’ve decided not to keep the money because it’s simply not fair to profit so much from someone else’s hard work. In return, I want to give you all the opportunity to help me help the less fortunate people in underdeveloped countries.

Some of you might have heard of the term microfinancing, which is basically providing financial services to the very poor that most banks would otherwise neglect. One of the most exciting aspect of microfinancing is microloans or microcredit. Think of loans but instead of thousands of dollars, think hundreds. That may not seem practical in developed nations, but are great sums of money elsewhere.

KivaOne of the organizations which connect microlenders to entrepreneurs around the world is Kiva. This is a non-profit organization which has been endorsed by the likes of Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey. Microfinancing institutions all around the world collect profiles of local entrepreneurs who are in need of microcredit and posts their profiles to Kiva. Then via PayPal, anyone can lend money to these hopeful entrepreneurs from as little as little as $25.

Kiva is not a charity – you can’t buy people out of poverty. Instead, these entrepreneurs are obligated to repay the loans when they make a profit. The money then could then be withdrawn or re-loaned to another entrepreneur.

I encourage everyone to check out Kiva for themselves and this is where I need your help. Currently listed on Kiva are 84 (and growing) business profiles which are in need of loans.

  • I have a total of $500 $600 I want to lend.
  • Want to support as many businesses as possible.
  • Minimum loan per business is $25, thus maximum of 20 24 businesses.
  • Want you to suggest me businesses to loan to.

I hope everyone could browse the list of businesses profiles on the site, and recommend to me one or more profiles you think I should lend to including a short note why you think it would be a good choice. If there are duplicates, I’ll loan the amount as many times it was suggested.

In the long run, hopefully most of the money will be repaid which means there’ll be more opportunities to loan again. If this trial is successful, I hope to do more of these in the future with the advertising revenue on this site.

Update: What the heck, let’s throw RSS ad revenue in there too. Increased amount to $600.

Here’s a tally of the loans so far.

Agossou Amouzou
Recommended by Justin
$25
Umu Mackie
Recommended by Tom Philippart
$25
Cludina Suarez Tenazoa
Recommended by Daniel
$25
Allahverdi Abbasov
Recommended by Nick
$25
Tahir Cahangirov
Recommended by Milo
$25
Parween Akhter’s Group
Recommended by Michael MC
$25
Vincente Arguello
Recommended by Jock B
$25
Alex Kamara
Recommended by Stephen Edgar
$25
Vannak Rous
Recommended by Kip
$25
Marciano Gomez
Recommended by Kip
$25
Nohbala Guliyev
Recommended by Kip
$25
Rosa Marlenis Márquez
Recommended by Kip
$25
Mukarram Ataeva
Recommended by Sam
$25
Kadiatu Conteh
Recommended by Sam
$25
Choam Sin
Recommended by Sam
$25
Mugema D (iii) Group $25
Pham Thi Oanh $25
Kawala 1A (ii) Group $25
Constancio Gimenez $25
Mugema D(ii) Group $25
Total loaned $500
Total left to be loaned $100

39 insightful thoughts

  1. @Max: Just in case you missed this, I’m asking you and everyone to recommend me businesses listed on Kiva that I should lend to. You pick, I pay. :)

  2. Awesome idea,
    I think you should support “Umu Mackie”, 1. a pharmacy with all the necessary medications is very important in an african country like Sierra Leone 2. she uses the profit to help educate her family’s children 3. she has a 4-star rating in repaying, that means you’ll be able to lend the money to others in need next month (she repays monthly)

    Thanks

  3. @Tom Philippart: That’s an awesome business. Too bad for me but good for them they’ve already raised the amount required.

  4. @Milo: That’s sure something in his sink. But since he’s name is not Sweeny Todd I trust him. Done.

    @Michael MC: That’s a very fitting recommendation. Thanks.

    I just want to add this has been very enjoyable so far, and it’s more diverse than anything I might have done myself.

  5. Long,

    A very generous offer on your behalf and as you will see I have just sent you a ‘Kiva Facebook Causes’ invite on Facebook.

    The other piece of information that I thought was kind of timely this ‘Australia Day Long Weekend’ is that ‘David Bussau’ received the ‘2008 Senior Australian of the Year Award’ and is a Co-Founder of ‘Opportunity International’ who are also in the microfinance business with over 1 million clients in 27 developing counties around the world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Senior_Australian_of_the_Year_Award_recipients
    http://www.opportunity.org.au/home.asp?pageid=8CA100B081722994&pressid=7CC0D8B28031898E

    http://www.opportunity.net (Global Web Site)

    So with the above ‘kudos’ to David Bussau I had a good look around kiva.org to find some projects and there are many though this is the one that stood out for me.

    Name: Antoine Kpossou
    Location: Aného, Togo
    Loan Use: To buy fertilizer
    http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=33127

    Cheers,

    Stephen Edgar

  6. I found your blog post after discovering we both loaned money to Umu Mackie in Sierra Leone. :-) Love your idea! Since I have reached my limit for the month, here’s a recommendation I would love to fund myself but can’t…go for it!

    http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=33644

    Hope is 35 year old widow with two children. The children all go to school. She sells used shoes for a living. Hope usually earns shs 35,000 in profits each week. She wants her children to have a good quality education. She wants to use the extra business profits to open up bank accounts for the children and start saving for them money for their education. Sumini and Mariam sell crafts while Juliet sells soft drinks.

    This is a group loan. The loan funds will be distributed among the group members, each of whom will invest in her own business. The members mutually guarantee one another’s loans. If one member does not repay, the other members are responsible.

  7. Hey Long,

    Just had another thought – does anyone know how Goodle Adsense gets involved like this also – I wonder if they have a program to match donations like this – it only comes about because business is being generated for them too – share the love?

    I’m sure they do, just havent seen any info on it..

    Pete

  8. Damn, I missed out so many good profiles whilst I was asleep. The only one that’s still available was @Jock B’s Vincente Arguello.

  9. Ok here’s my suggestions:
    http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=33675 – Searched on education: he’s the only one. A schoolteacher from Cambodia who wants $600 to buy a new motorbike. Sounds good to me.
    http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=33207 – Searched on men in South America. This guy needs some money to help run his little store, handed down from his father.
    http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=33447 – This guy needs some money for his truck. He’s from Azerbaijan.
    http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=33575 – Rosa needs money to make food in a big pot

  10. OK, here’s my suggestions (They’re all mothers because mothers are more likely to pay back the loan… therefore you can lend more to even more people :) ):
    http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=33673 : mother of four boys in a small town in Pakistan, wants to buy utensils in bulk to sell in a cart
    http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=32552 : mother of three in Tajikistan who is a reliable lender and needs money to buy goods
    http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=33263 : mother of four who plows rice fields and wants the money to buy a hand tractor so it’s easier for her to farm.
    http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=33184 : mother of two in Sierra Leone who wants to expand her business

  11. @Sam: Thanks for those. You make a very good point about mothers more likely to repay the loan. I only got around to three of them, the first was already fulfilled.

  12. How are potential scammers filtered out from this system; given the notoriety that Nigeria amongst other dubious characters has amassed around the 419 scam? Good Idea, but cautiously.

  13. @Ravindra: It has a sort of like eBay style reputation system. Based on records of how successful these people pay repay their loan. So if you want to stay on the safe side, loan to only people who’s had good records of repaying their loan.

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