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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

 

Kiva - personal micro-lending

I found this wonderful site via Boing-Boing, which, after all refers to itself (quite correctly) as 'a directory of wonderful things'. The site is called Kiva and it facilitates micro-lending to third-world businessmen (and women) via your PayPal account. The money gets paid back in six to twelve months, without interest, and you can then bounce it back to another enterprise or buy yourself some skis. No mailing, no check-writing, no collecting. Just push some keys and lend out a small amount of money and change someone's life. Right now the thing seems to be very Uganda-centric and I saw some interesting startups - brickmaking, livestock trading, and fish mongering among them. They don't have any new startups at the moment but I'm going to check back and see if a pittance for me (as little as $50 for some businesses) can be a life-saver for someone. Give it a look.

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