The US has many organizations and programs to help people less fortunate improve their livelihood. Sure there could always be more, but at least there’s something. Many people in the third world and developing countries don’t have the same advantages.
Kiva is a great organization that helps elevate working people above the poverty level all over the world. They make it easy for anyone to help provide a “hand up”, not a “hand out” to budding entrepreneurs in developing countries.
How does Kiva work? Kiva partners with microfinance institutions (think of them as mini-banks) in the same country as the entrepreneur. You “loan” the money to Kiva, who forwards it on to the “mini-bank”, who then loans it to the person who wants to start or expand their business.
While there is no guarantee that the loan will be repaid, Kiva has a very high success rate. You choose who you want to loan money to and can review success rates of the mini-bank before you lend. Plus, you can loan as little as $25.
We’ve been loaning money through Kiva for over a year and have had a great experience. We’ve helped over 8 different people start or expand their business in countries from Azerbaijan, Kenya, Ghana, Vietnam and more. Check out Kiva.
f you want to read more about microfinance, we highly recommend Nobel prize winner, Muhammed Yunus’ book, Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty. It tells the story of how he started a bank with a $27 loan and today, loans billions of dollars to help the working poor.