We often see advertisements telling of the sadness and lack in third-world countries, and asking for our help.
Right or wrong, I have never been inclined to support those causes as, to me, it feels that my energy is going in the direction of focusing on the lack, rather than the abundance.
Being part of the solution…
So how do I support instead?
I fund entrepreneurs in these areas – people who only need a little to be able to set up, or expand their local business – and this is not a hand-out, this is a loan that supports more than the recipient.
The micro-financing loan is administered and managed by a field partner in the same area as the entrepreneur. 100% of my investment goes to the entrepreneur, and the field partner charges an interest rate that allows them (the field partner) to continue to grow and support even more entrepreneurs.
The loan is then paid back over an extended period of time, allowing the recipient to grow their business to generate the additional income to service the loan.
Since Kiva (the non-profit based in America that administers the program) started in 2005, the average number of loans that have been repaid in full is 96.9%.
So, who are these entrepreneurs?
Along with other investors, these are the people I am personally funding – along with their stories…
Please meet Frankston.
Frankston is from Kitengela;Nairobi, Kenya
Please meet Sarah.
She started this business with financial help from her brother and her mother taught her how to sell.
She transports supplies to her business site by car. Sarah sells from 7:00 am until 5:00 pm, making sure that her business goes well.
To add up her business, Sarah requires for a loan through BRAC Liberia and KIVA Field Partner. The loan will be used to purchase more charcoal to sell.
She likes her business because it helps to support her family. Sarah would like to build a house for her children within the future.
Sarah is from New Kru, Liberia
Please meet Nancy.
Nancy is seeking a loan to buy farm inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides. Your loan will enable her to improve her production through the use of quality farm inputs. This intervention will help her fill the increasing demand for food in the market and, in the process, generate more income to repay the loan debt and improve the quality of life for her family. To others it might just be a mere loan, but to Nancy it’s the biggest opportunity she will have this season of changing her life. Kindly lend to her today.
Nancy is from Kenyenya, Kenya
Please meet Justine.
Justine hopes that in the future she will be able to open up a new branch of a retail shop.
Justine is a member of BRAC’s Small Enterprise Program (SEP). The program primarily serves small entrepreneurs like Justine who do not have enough collateral for commercial loans, but have businesses that have grown too large for microloans.
Justine is from Kajjansi, Uganda
Please meet Rosalinda.
The loan she is asking for will be used to buy cold meats such as ham, local types of sausages and other requests made by her customers.
Rosalinda is from Barranquilla, Colombia
How can you support?
Everyone has different things that touch their heart. For me, it is people who are stepping up and creating something that helps others as well as themselves.
No matter your passion, you can probably find someone who fits that place in your heart. Here is a list of the categories of people seeking a micro-loan (and bearing in mind, your loan can be as little as $25):
- Single parents
- Refugees and IDPs
- Kiva U.S.
- Retail businesses
- Water and sanitation
- Conflict zones
- Under-banked areas
- Short-term loans
I love being part of this program. Whatever you choose to do to give back, on behalf of everyone else here on this pretty little blue planet…