Thursday, December 7, 2006

Microcredit can change the world

a new global investment phenomenon

I thought I had better write a quick entry regarding this new system of banking that is sweeping around the globe. After having watched and listened to a few interviews with Nobel Prize Winner, Muhammad Yunus I must say that the concept of Microcredit has captured our attention at Shaw Treatment.

So in a pleasant twist and coming together of technologies and disciplines, we were recently contacted by www.nonprofittechblog.org for an interview. While reviewing this site created by IT consultant Allan Benamer, we couldn't help but notice a company by the name of Kiva.org. After spending what seemed like a couple of hours of reviewing the site and organization - I was hooked!

I can loan money to entrepreneurs around the globe in third world countries. COOL!

In most cases the people requesting loans were unable to get a loan through conventional means. Let's face it, big banks aren't exactly willing to help people that really need it. That's where microcredit comes in. With the help of hundreds of other people like you and me, we can loan as little as $25 to a farmer in Kenya to buy a cow or a water pump.

It's quite simple, register and use your PayPal account to loan some money or 'diversify' your portfolio and loan to several people in different countries. Once the target amount is raised, it will be be loaned to the individual that requested it. They will then have a set period of time to pay it back. The idea here is to give people a hand-up, not a hand-out.

As I see it, my financial advisor is going to freak out when he learns that I'm loaning money and getting no pay-off in the end except my initial investment and the satisfaction that I helped someone grow their business a bit and put food on their family's table.

Happy Holidays! Brad.

Kiva - loans that change lives

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