I really love this idea.
They manage no-interest loans for small businesses in poorer countries. They have a 100% payback rate (since they took over…prior to that it was 96%), and that’s a pretty incredible thing. They are choosing the right people who need the right kind of help.
I want to let you all know about a cool non-profit that is doing great things: Kiva.org
Kiva.org allows individuals to make $25 loans to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world (microfinance). By doing so, individuals like you provide affordable working capital for the poor (money to buy a sewing machine, livestock, etc.), empowering them to earn their way out of poverty.
It’s a new, direct and sustainable way to fight global poverty, and the way I see it, I get a higher return on $25 helping someone build a future than the interest my checking account pays.
Anyways, if you have a minute, please check out the site: http://kiva.org. If you need more “reputable” validation than my recommendation :), know that they have received great press in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to NPR to BusinessWeek.
Thanks for reading!
Greg, and I picked one borrower to help right now. Olga Djondo of Togo is seeking a little more help to get her beauty salon business to a sustainable state. She's apprenticing two sisters. Looking over this, I'm willing to give it a $25 shot, and the repayment terms for her are 12-15 months (where I can reinvest in another business or take back my money).
I think it is a worthwhile cause, hopefully you will too. :)