Friday, January 11, 2008

What is Kiva? Kiva Discussed on NBC's Today Show

While listening to the NBC Today Show about 5 minutes ago, I just had to go check out this site: Kiva. Maybe I am a little slow, but I had never heard of this site and all of the help they are able to give to business owners who are less fortunate.

Kiva is a business/web site that allows users to loan money to other business owners in other countries so they can prosper and realize their dreams. So many of these people are in countries that do not have the ability to loan this money in most cases, in essence you are sponsoring a business as it states on the Kiva about page.

The way the loan program works is "Kiva partners with existing micro finance institutions". Because of this, Kiva is able to "gain access to outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide." These partners choose the borrowers with their wealth of experience and because the funds are small, with the help of Kiva, these partners can upload the borrower profiles to the site so others can lend.

There is a system in place where Kiva is able to show you where the money goes and while this is a loan program, you are still helping and giving these entrepeneurs confidence to grow their businesses.

I am signing up. I am not rich, but with the way Kiva works, you can loan as little as $25; isn't that awesome? Even those of us without a lot of money can help.

The news report this morning on the NBC Today Show was so inspiring and showed several business owners who have been helped by this program. One man who has six children couldn't even afford to send his children to school before this and now he has been able to rent a room for his family with electricity, send the children to school and even open a restaurant; which, according to the report has been making a profit since day one. Just to put things into perspective; this man's profit is an average of $14 a day. Can you image living off of $14 a day?

I am so excited about this program I am going to go sign up now!

Side note: I just tried to check out the site again and because of the recent news coverage, it appears the site is running a bit slow, so be patient.



NBC Today Show, Report on Kiva