Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - Baby Steps Towards Making a Difference

I recently started giving to a micro-finance/micro-loan organization known as Essentially what it is is a non-profit group that facilitates small loans to entrepreneurs in the 3rd World. The loans are to folks that don't have any collateral to ensure a traditional bank loan. Also, the loan amounts are too small to attract legitimate financiers. Kiva makes it possible for people all over the world to provide some leverage to small business owners in struggling regions.

The default amount that sponsors give is $25 American. You have the choice of giving more but the system is setup to bring together several lenders in order to minimize the risk to the individual. As far as risk is concerned, Kiva has an impeccable record of repayment. The latest figures show a default rate of just 0.3% for $1,700,00 in loans...thats impressive!

Please visit the site at for more info and see how you can get involved.

My first loan went to Sok Ry, in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia. Sok Ry sells traditional medicines and her husband is a farmer. Below is a picture of her and her husband along with the loan use description from the website.

Mrs. Sok Ry, aged 50, sells traditional Cambodian medicine to earn about $12 per day in revenue. Profits vary according to the type of medicines her clients request. Her husband grows vegetables to feed the family. They have one child who is a high school student. Mrs. Sok is requesting this loan of $1200 in order to increase her inventory of medicines to meet growing client demands. Part of the loan will also be used to purchase an electric water pump to irrigate the family’s farm and increase crop yield.

Sok Ry's loan was fully funded on October 23rd. She will be making monthly repayments for the next 18 months. I will monitor her progress and keep you all informed.

I am really excited about this and hope some of you out there will be too.

There is a widget on the sidebar of this blog to track the progress of various loans waiting to be fully funded.

No comments: