The Anonymous Widower

Kiva – On-Line Microfinance

Kiva is almost a cross between peer-to-peer lending and micro-finance.

You choose an entrepreneur with a business in some faraway country, who needs some finance to either start or expand their business.  The business might be a recycling business in Pakistan or a cafe in Vietnam, but the list is endless.  You then contribute something like $25 to the loan they require.

The About page on their web site tells you more. I just signed up and then lent $25 through my PayPal account to a pharmacy in the Congo to buy more drugs. Of the pukka sort that is! It was a very simple process, where you just sign in and then start lending in chunks of $25 to those borrowers you choose from a map of the world.  I have since made a loan to a woman starting a restaurant in Ecuador.  I chose Ecuador, as I have experience of the country, so know a bit about the way they work.

So far they claim they have lent over $337 million dollars and they have a near 99% repayment rate.

I regard any money, I give to Kiva as a donation to charity.  If I get any money back, then that is a bonus. If I get all my money back with interest, then that’s an investment.

I think the big disadvantage of Kiva is that it appears you have to pay by PayPal or a credit card, whereas Zopa or funding Circle can be fed using a direct bank transfer.

Perhaps if you’ve had a clear-out and got rid of unwanted clutter through eBay, Kiva is a good way to spend your PayPal funds creatively.

Remember too, that most of our charity donations are either made by cash or credit card, often through something like JustGiving. A lot of these will be increased by Gift Aid.

August 12, 2012 - Posted by | Finance, World | ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] I wrote about Kiva, the on-line micro-finance site in this post. […]

    Pingback by My Progress With Kiva « The Anonymous Widower | November 18, 2012 | Reply

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