The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

4 January 2006

Microloans take a different twist

Kiva is a variation on the microcredit theme: the site maintains a list of borrowers, and anyone with a PayPal account can lend any of them as little as $25. Kiva works through the Village Enterprise Fund, an African organization which provides seed capital to small entrepreneurs.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, word of this got to the left side of blogdom first; I'm on record as being a fan of microcredit in the Third World, but I missed the introduction.

Erica explains the appeal:

What I love about this, and about groups like Modest Needs, is that 1) I understand what it's like to need just a little more to get by, and that 2) as someone with generally only a little to give I can really see the difference I'm making.

Really big disasters — tsunami, Katrina, and the like — get all the attention and most of the dollars; operations like this remind us that it's not some distant mass of humanity, but individual people, who occasionally need help.

Posted at 8:00 AM to Entirely Too Cool

Looks like a great idea! I've been giving to Modest Needs for some 5 years now ... I can remember when it was a very tiny little website with one guy working his butt off to make it work. Now it's really come into its own. I hope this KIVA has the staying power as well. A little bit of money goes a long way in the right hands.

Posted by: Ron at 10:17 AM on 4 January 2006