In a New York Times Magazine article for this weekend, there’s a story about Kiva , a micro-lending brokerage that I’ve been advertising on this site for quite a while. It’s a good news kind of story, and one I had not expected to hear.
Recently, every borrower business in Kiva’s system was 100% funded. This is awesome! And as a result, since the holidays, Kiva has had a $25 cap on individual loans (the amount you and I can lend):
[Kiva’s public-relations director, Fiona] Ramsey says that the $25 cap will mostly be in effect for the next month or so, partly because Kiva sold about $2 million worth of gift certificates over the holidays, many of them still waiting to be invested. Meanwhile, some users get so caught up in helping that they behave like collectors, looking to add new countries and new kinds of businesses to their portfolios. (Entrepreneurs in Iraq and Afghanistan are particularly popular.) The chat boards on a kind of fan site called KivaFriends.org indicate the mixed feelings about the high demand for loan recipients. “I was trying to leave the field open for the newcomers,” one enthusiast there confessed recently, shortly after adding to a personal portfolio of 62 loans – even as the number of hopeful borrowers was dwindling quickly. “Makes me feel guilty.” That’s an odd thing for such a generous person to say, but it’s one indicator of what an unusual dynamic Kiva’s popularity has created. Even philanthropists don’t want to look greedy.
Wow! This is really great news, not just for Kiva, but for the ever expanding concepts of micro-lending and helping the poor by engaging them in capitalism instead of charity. Please, consider visiting Kiva, and consider not only lending to a business in need, but also giving to support this organization so they can grow their operations and perhaps reach more in need.
Hat tip to Marilyn L on NewsVine .