I should have written about this a few days ago as freebies were available, but I didn’t notice the “limited availability” small print which means the freebies have now run out. However, it is a damn fine thing, so I am going write about it anyway.
A few years ago I was introduced to Kiva, a micro-lending service that rather successfully enables people to pool together to lend money to small businesses in developing countries.
A person, for example in Tanzania, might have a small business making bags and would like to buy bulk materials to expand their output, but needs a loan to buy the supplies before they can sell them.
A loan of $500 is needed, which is then made up by Kiva members pooling maybe $25 each together, and usually within just a few days, the loan can be made. Local organisations manage the loan repayments, and each month some of the money is repaid to each lender.
I was introduced to the scheme by a former boss, and find it a good way of using up any left-over petty cash in my paypal account.
There is no interest earned on the loan, which is typically repaid in about a year, but the default rate is minuscule, so it is a fairly rewarding thing to be involved with with.
You can sign up and have a look here – sorry that the free $25 starters have run out!