Thought Archive

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sponsor a Business

There are some good ways to help the poor develop, without a stifling embrace of constant aid. There is an old saying, which my great grand-father used to repeat when working age people asked him for free money:" Start your own shop, and I will give you a loan".

Remember about those many thousands of people, more entrepreneurial than you and me but unable to gain access to the crucial capital to open their shop, bakery or repay a school loan. Real people working hard, harder than many others on making sure they themselves and their children succeed in life.
Kiva, like many other micro lending companies, lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. Basically you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Apparently rules are simple – and the loans are interest free. So this is a pure charity on your side, but not on theirs. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back. Simple, but apparently ingenious.

Kiva is using the power of the internet to facilitate one-to-one connections that were previously prohibitively expensive. Child sponsorship has always been a high overhead business. Kiva creates a similar interpersonal connection at much lower costs due to the instant, inexpensive nature of internet delivery. The individuals featured on our website are real people who need a loan and are waiting for socially-minded individuals like you to lend them money.


riri said...

bit skeptical about this - is it secure? how can the poor get the money on the other side of the transaction given that most if not all poor country have an awfully corrupted , internet-inoperational banking system?

NoolaBeulah said...

I understand Riri's point. How is the money transferred? Is it direct?

But what a clever idea! And an excellent use of the internet. Your great-grandfather was right.

Hazar Nesimi said...

No - Kiva is a website hub for micro-lending companies and many in Azerbaijan. The money is transferred over internet and then they offer a loan to a client. If they default then you lose yours though. Those companies (like Norwegian Micro-Lending Co) look credible... and storie are not fabricated. Obviosly there is opportunity for graft on their ground, but I dont believe this is a swindle. When in Baku i might even check them.