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Thursday, January 19, 2006

adventures in microlending

Steve Odongo is a butcher in Tororo, Uganda. He's got a good business going, buying animals from the rural markets and slaughtering them. His Gracious God Butchery is poised for growth, but capital is hard to come by in Uganda. Enter Kiva.

I've written before about microlending. What makes Kiva unique among microlenders is that they allow individuals to lend directly to entrepreneurs in developing countries.

So, I've joined with a few other people to loan Steve Odongo $500 to expand his business. He will receive the money the first of next month, and will pay it back as he is able over the next 6 to 12 months.

If you're interested in making a loan, please bookmark Kiva's website. They are currently enjoying a surplus of lenders, but they are signing up new entrepreneurs every few weeks. For as little as $25, you can help lift someone out of poverty. And it's a gift that keeps giving, because after the loan is paid back, you can lend the money to another entrepreneur. There's no limit to the number of people who can be helped with the same money.

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: Micolending won't solve all the world's problems, but it is probably the best tool yet invented for overcoming extreme poverty.



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