Why donate when you can empower? Kiva.org lets you loan money directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world. Specifically, the online site connects you to a network of entrepreneurs through local microfinance organizations. So far, Kiva has hooked up over $6 million in loans to more than 60,000 entrepreneurs.
For example, Agnes Lawer (shown) is an entrepreneur in Ghana seeking a $900 loan to develop her bead manufacturing business. She plans to repay her loan in 9-12 months. You could loan her the $900 directly, or a portion.
The Kiva site describes, “Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you’ve sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.
We partner with organizations all over the world.”