Social Microfinancing

I’ve been experiencing unusually high traffic over the past couple of days, and I have a strong suspicion that the ‘advertising cocks‘ post had a lot to do with it. Anyhow, I thought I’d try leverage this for the greater good (not in the Hot Fuzz sense). So here goes.

I found out about Kiva via my uncle today (I suspect I may be well behind the times on this one) and I have to say it’s a genius idea. Named as one of the business ideas of 2006 in the New York Times magazine, in a nutshell it’s microfinancing for the masses.

Basically, you lend a few quid to small-time third-world entrepreneurs to help them set up in business. You don’t earn any interest, and in theory you might not get your money back (although globally microcredit projects have received >95% repayment). But you do get the satisfaction of helping to finance a farmer in Kenya, or a baker in Togo (etc.). The theory is:


I could bang on about what a marvellous demonstration the power of the networked world this is blah blah blah but you all know that already. Instead, please go and have a look and find out a bit more, and, if you like it, why not get involved. You’ll feel all warm inside!

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2 Responses to “Social Microfinancing”

  1. neilperkin Says:

    Have to admit I’d never seen this before but I think it’s an absolutely brilliant idea. My missus used to work for Actionaid, who do sponsored villages/projects/children. The really powerful thing about that (like this) is that you feel (and in this case actually are) like you are donating direct to someone rather than to a faceless NGO where you have little idea where the cash has gone. Love it.

  2. Will Says:

    Doug – email me if you like this sort of thing.. I have a list of good new 2.0 ventures (which includes Freecycle and Kiva).

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