Always thinking you should do something - volunteer, donate to charity, basically save the world - but feel like there's something - time commitments, money, crippling lethargy - getting in your way?
Today, there's no excuse.
Click this link and sign up to give a $25 loan to a group or individual starting a small business - at no cost to you. (Do I sound like an infomercial salesman?)
But seriously, micro-finance is changing the world - and I really believe this. Charity is fine and good, but what could be more powerful than helping a person to help themselves - in a sustainable, long-lasting way? Through micro-finance programs, like Kiva, individuals with little to no income join saving and lending groups and help each other start small businesses. Empowering these small business owners - many of whom are women - through credit gives them the ability to independently better their lives and the lives of their families.
These ladies may be selling street food, running a sewing business or selling cosmetics. They develop a business plan, work with a small group to amass savings, and request a loan through the lending organization. That's where you come in - putting up $10 or $15 - whatever you can afford, to support the project. The loan is eventually repaid by the business owner, allowing you to recoup your loan or continue utilizing the funds to support new small businesses. It's a concept made famous by Grameen Bank - read this book - and it's taking off around the world.
|Smile, you're getting a loan! From here.|
I chose to loan to Adela. She's raising three grandchildren and running a small business cooking hot meals to sell on the street. The income from her business allows her to support herself and her grandchildren, and she's looking to renovate her home to create a small facility to rent out for events. I love her entrepreneurial spirit - how smart to know that, no matter what, people need to celebrate milestone events like weddings and births - and will look for a location to serve that need. Her loan of $375 has almost been met -
one more donation should do it!!
So, if you've had the time to read this blog, you have time to sign up and support a small business for free.
And if five or more of you comment on this post, I will sign up for an additional $25 dollar loan out of my pocket. List your loan recipient suggestion in your comments!