Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ever support a lemonade stand?

It's the time of year when industrious entrepreneurs all over America are setting up little tables by the street to entice passers-by to buy some lemonade. If you have one of these at your house, you've probably invested a little money for cups and other supplies. It's all worth it, because after all, isn't it important to teach our kids the value of working to earn money?

What if I told you that you could spend just $25 to support a lemonade stand, and get your entire investment back, and in the process change someone's life and make the world a better place?

My husband and I recently learned about Kiva, an organization that facilitates micro-loans to entrepreneurs all over the world. From their website, here is a summary of how Kiva works:

1) Lenders like you browse profiles of entrepreneurs in need, and choose someone to lend to. When they lend, using PayPal or their credit cards, Kiva collects the funds and then passes them along to one of our microfinance partners worldwide.

2) Kiva's microfinance partners distribute the loan funds to the selected entrepreneur. Often, our partners also provide training and other assistance to maximize the entrepreneur's chances of success.

3) Over time, the entrepreneur repays their loan. Repayment and other updates are posted on Kiva and emailed to lenders who wish to receive them.

4) When lenders get their money back, they can re-lend to someone else in need, donate their funds to Kiva (to cover operational expenses), or withdraw their funds.

Here's the profile of the woman in Tanzania who is currently repaying my loan:

Bertha is 30 years old and is a married woman with 1 child, age 5 years old. Bertha is a soft drinks seller and she started her business in 2004. Everyday she works from 6am to 6pm at her business and can earn a monthly profit of about $90 from her sales. She now hopes for a loan to buy more items for her business. She will share this loan with her subgroup members, who have businesses dealings in chicken sales and soft drinks sales.

I'll never meet Bertha, but I'm happy I could help her. I can't imagine what it's like working 12 hour days every day.

I'm going to get my kids involved in selecting who will get our next loan. I think it's a powerful lesson on the impact one person can have.

Ready to invest a little to help someone help themselves?

Kiva - loans that change lives

9 people stopped folding laundry to write:

LauraC said...

I love this idea! Jon and I "bought" a cow for a family as part of Heifer International as our wedding gift to each other but I love this idea even more.

Thank you thank you thank you

Good & Crazy said...

I love the idea of this...part of me worries that it's 'too good to be true'? I'd love to know of any 'problems' with this program...

Cuz I'd do it in a heartbeat!

Pirate Princess said...

That's pretty interesting! I would be one of the ones requesting a loan, though! :)

I've tagged you for a meme, 2/3. Check it out! :)

Off to check out Kiva!

Burbank Babe said...

Well, there's a no-brainer. I had a balance in my PayPal account from some money made from ExpoTV...not any more!

Great idea!

Oh, I picked a guy who sews and wants to be a designer...in honor of my white teddy-bear!

Jaime H. said...

Oh, yeah...it's pretty hot and humid here.

Yes, we have a/c..and my honey is the town's a/c man, so we're all good. LOL

He also fixed the swamp cooler, which helps keep the air temp down in here, so the a/c doesn't come on as much.

Wanna come visit? LOL Can't wait for Disneyland next week...80 will feel like HEAVEN!

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Thanks for sharing this. I'll look into it more.

Kelsey said...

Interesting! Ill need to look into it even more!

Shawn said...

As soon as I have a spare piggy bank it's the first place I'm heading! I found this about a month ago and have been pacing the halls since ... great idea to post about it.

kawaii crafter said...

now you've got me curious, I'm going to check out the site too

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