5% of all profits go to fund micro loans around the world through Kiva.
Kiva is an organization that allows you to make a loan of $25 online to an entrepreneur around world. You are able to watch the progress of your loan, receive updates on the entrepreneur’s business and life, and once they have repaid the loan, you can re-lend it to another entrepreneur.
In 2006 I read Muhammad Yunus’ Banker to the Poor and became dedicated to the idea that ‘micro’ loans could have a macro effect (it was the success of a $27 loan in a small Bangladeshi village that inspired Yunus to dedicate his life to microfinance). In early 2007 I learned about Kiva and was ecstatic, and in the fall of ’07 left for six months in Peru and Guatemala as a Kiva Fellow, photographing entrepreneurs and capturing their stories to share with lenders. I met farmers, bakers, tuc-tuc drivers, chefs, convenience store owners, travel agents, internet cafe owners, and artisans of all kinds. I spent six months being humbled and continually inspired by the stories the entrepreneurs would share with me, and I returned home with a rock solid conviction that micro lending has a macro impact.
I am thrilled to be able to use my gifts to support the gifts of others. 5% of all profits from this website go into a loan fund on Kiva, that Kiva then administers to a microfinance organization who then lends it to an entrepreneur. It’s important to note that this 5% is not a donation, but a loan that recycles itself again and again. I will be sharing updates from time to time on the impact these loans are having.
Thank you for your support!
If you are interested in learning more about microfinance, I highly recommend reading Banker to the Poor, reading up on Kiva, and looking into local community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that are doing amazing things in your community. Don’t know where to start? I’m partial to Neighborhood Development Center in St. Paul, MN (my former employer before I moved to Wisconsin!), and during my Kiva Fellowship I worked closely with Finca Peru, Microfinanzas PRISMA, and Friendship Bridge.
A few photographs of entrepreneurs I met during my fellowship with Kiva: