There are tons of reputable online microfinanciers and they’re a cracking idea. We give money to a non-profit, they loan it to people in the developing world wanting to set up or expand a small business, and when the loan is repaid we give the money to someone else so the process can begin again. It’s the gift that keeps on etc.
The cash from March’s Chazza ozza thozza Mozza will contribute to Rosaura Tuñoque Santisteban’s general store in Peru, the Santa Lucia Group’s clothing business in Nicaragua and the Kunthea Hun Village Bank Group’s vegetable plot in Cambodia. According to its website Kiva has distributed more than $125 million dollars to 318,000 entrepreneurs, 82% of them women. This is such a good idea it makes me want to go back in time and claim I invented it. Of course for that I’d need a time machine, which is also a good idea I’d like to claim I invented.
Kiva hasn’t submitted enough paperwork to be tracked by Charity Navigator. I’d usually make sure it was on the level before giving, but it’s been referenced in enough articles and has a solid enough corporate sponsor that I’ll cut that particular corner. Its website admits having to suspend one partner organisation, an openness which suggests these are the good guys so I’ll bung them a few quid to support their admin costs.
Rosaura will be better able to support her elderly parents, the Village Bank Group will be better able to support their children, the young women of the Santa Lucia Group will be better able to support themselves and with a 98% loan repayment rate I can look forward to sharking my cash again soon. And if for some reason they’re unable to repay I can just throw a brick through Cambodia’s windows. What an idea! I’m off to buy a DeLorean.