Why I Support Kiva and Micro-financing

Posted by Jesse Willms on August 21, 2010

(And Why You Should Too)

Jesse Willms - Why I Support Kiva.org and Microfinancing

Hi, it’s Jesse again.  I’ve been very busy launching some new sites and making sure everything is running smoothly here.

But, I did want to come online and talk about an organization, Kiva, which is very important to me.  Kiva is an organization that provides micro-financing to aspiring individual entrepreneurs in developing countries.  The idea behind micro-finance is simple – if people can start their own businesses, they can grow their way out of poverty far more quickly than through almost any other means.

In the developing world it can be very, very inexpensive to get a business started. In fact, it generally costs less than $1,000 and often as low as $200 or $300 to plant the seeds of a successful business.

But, the people who want to start these new companies can rarely get a loan from a regular lending institution because they lack any collateral or credit history.

Kiva solves this problem by arranging for the loans that can make these businesses possible. And, they have been remarkably successful. More than 98 percent of the loans they provide are paid back – meaning that they went to people who were able to start successful profitable businesses. That’s considerably better than most banks have done with small businesses loans.  Overall all they’ve helped more than 395,000 entrepreneurs get companies off the ground in more than 200 countries.

As an entrepreneur myself, I respect that – which is why I’ve donated my finances to allow 10 different entrepreneurs to get loans from Kiva. When they have repaid their loans, I will use the money to help 10 more Kiva entrepreneurs.  I’ll keep doing this indefinitely. It’s part of my dedication to helping others. I truly believe that by empowering people to take control of their future we can help reduce poverty, give people hope and strengthen communities.

Giving to Kiva is easy, and a little bit of your money can go a long way. That’s why I participate – and that’s why you should too.

I urge all my blog readers to make a difference. If you are interested in lending money to aspiring entrepreneurs you can do so at Kiva.org.