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Kiva – ethical lending for developing world small business


Kiva is a nice microfinance site which brings together lenders from the wealthy first world and small businesses in the developing world. This is such a great use of the global power of the Internet in so many ways. You can loan money via Paypal or credit card – in amounts as little as $25.00 – and either take your money out when the load is repaid or keep it in the system and lend again. You don’t receive interest, Paypal doesn’t deduct any fees, and 100% of the money goes to the recipients. There is however a small interest fee charged for admin by the field agents on the ground in each country. It’s a lovely system, and one which deserves to succeed in a big way (hopefully with more countries).

 Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on, 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.

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