Wednesday, September 5, 2007

'Microfinance loans' can change the world

With full credit to today's "Al's Morning Meeting," this Web site is amazing.

The group finds people around the world who need small loans to start or improve their businesses. The loans, as little as $25, are coupled with other small loans from people just like you. This is not a handout -- it is a real loan, and the borrowers from Kiva almost never default.
This blog says:

I went to the site and picked a few small businesses to support, including two medical clinics in Kenya, a blacksmith in Ecuador, a flower store in Cameroon, a grocery in Ivory Coast and a grocery in Paraguay (five of the six entrepreneurs are women). Within 24 hours, I had already received a note that the grocer in Paraguay had received the loan.

Here is a video from The New York Times, in which a journalist actually traveled to Afghanistan to meet a baker who needed a few hundred dollars to improve his small bakery business.

The Wall Street Journal explains how micro-finance loans and social networking Web sites can make a big difference.