Kiva is a nonprofit, p2p microloan company designed to promote entrepreneurship in developing countries.  Founded in October of 2005, Kiva has financed US$21 million worth of loans coming from 242,000 lenders.  You can be a lender.

The Kiva team initially focused its funding on the country of Uganda but has since opened up the offering nationwide.  At Kiva.org you’ll find a loan profile and will have the opportunity to lend an amount as small as $25 to the cause.  In the name of promoting entrepreneurship, no interest rates are charged, but 99,7% of donations are repaid within 12 months.

A sample loan profile from Wikipedia is available below:

Fisherman seeks refrigerator

  • 51 year old fisherman with three children in Azerbaijan
  • 12 years of experience
  • Seeks 12 month loan for $725 USD in order to purchase a refrigerator
  • Has already successfully repaid two prior microloan

Kiva.org represents the ultimate aha!  By leaving our money in 1-2% checking and saving accounts we’re actually losing money to inflation on a yearly basis.  By donating a small sum to a developing venture you have the chance to be part of an international phenomena – Kiva.org “loans that change lives”

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