I’m Expanding My Kiva Partnership

Posted by Jesse Willms on October 24, 2010

A few months back I told you about how I have decided to support the Kiva Foundation in their quest to help entrepreneurs in the third world. Kiva provides microloans, which are a simple yet incredibly effective tool in breaking the cycle of third world poverty.

You see, there aren’t enough jobs in the third world to bring most people into the middle class. And, simply giving people money is only a temporary solution. Instead you need to find ways for them to make money for themselves in the long term. Kiva makes that happen.

Many people in the third world want to start their own businesses and can do so with an initial investment of just a couple hundred dollars. But, most banks won’t lend them money for a variety of reasons. Kiva makes the difference by finding people and companies willing to make the loans themselves and then matching them with aspiring entrepreneurs. They have an over 98 percent success rate and the majority of their loans go to female entrepreneurs.

This summer, I started my partnership with Kiva by sponsoring 10 entrepreneurs and pledged that once they had paid back their loans, I’d sponsor 10 more. Now I’m expanding my efforts and sponsoring an additional 25 entrepreneurs. I’m doing so because I’ve been able to see just how much my initial donations have been able to help.

As an entrepreneur myself, I salute their dedication to making their lives better for themselves and their children. I know that I was very lucky in that when I was starting my first company I had the support of my family, friends and community. I can’t imagine what I would have done if I hadn’t had people willing to lend me a helping hand. I feel like helping similar people who want nothing but the chance to build a better life for themselves is the least I can do.

Charity helps people have one better day. However, giving them the tools to succeed gives them a better life. After all,

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he’ll eat every day.

That’s why I’m going to continue my support for Kiva, and I encourage other companies and individuals to do the same. It doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it helps improve the lives of people who simply want a chance at becoming the middle class.

Some of the people Jesse has already sponsored through the Kiva Foundation

Van Peov

Mrs. Van Peov, from Cambodia, runs a small farm. She is 52 years old and a resident of Battambang province, located about 280 km from the capital, Phnom Penh. She is a single mother, with seven children. Van Peov relies on income from her daughter, who mends and sews clothes in the village. Van Peov wants to start a new business of buying and selling mature rice in bulk, but she is concerned that she doesn’t have enough money yet to begin the process. We are helping make that dream a reality.

Berdimurat Suragan

Berdimurat Suragan is 38 years old and lives with his wife and four children in Bayan-Ulgiy province, Mongolia, in a traditional nomadic housing tent. His three elder children attend a local middle school. Berdimurat operates a machinery spare parts trading business, and owns a small shop made of bricks nearby his home where he sells his products. He began his business in 2000 with a small wooden shop and after years of successful business operation, Berdimurat managed to enlarge the shop and expand his services. His spare parts trading business is quite seasonal, so he wants to start a new business producing bricks in summertime. Jesse is happy to help.

Elijah Tama Mwangi

Elijah has been offering haircut and hairdressing services in Naivasha for the last 10 years. He is 38 years old, married to Esther Njeri and they have two school-going children.

This is his third Kiva loan. He paid his previous loans of 25,000 Kenyan shillings (Kshs) and 50,000 Kshs on time. He plans to use the proceeds from this new loan to re-stock his shop with cosmetics. He will use part of the stock for his clients, and sell some as well.

Elijah hopes to grow in this industry and open a training institute in hairdressing.

Luz Gladis

Luz is 58 years old. She has a live-in partner and 3 children. Her partner works as a rural laborer. Luz dedicates herself to raising and selling pigs; she has done this work for more than five years. Luz wants to use our loan to expand her business.