I have mentioned Kiva before: Microfinancing Entrepreneurs.
Kiva is lets you loan money directly to an entrepreneur of your choice. Kiva provides loans through partners (operating in the countries) to the entrepreneurs. Those partners do charge the entrepreneurs interest (to fund the operations of the lending partner). Kiva pays the principle back to you but does not pay interest. And if the entrepreneur defaults then you do not get your capital paid back (in other words you lose the money you loaned). I plan to just recycle repaid loans to other entrepreneurs.
I have just placed $150 in loans to 6 business entrepreneurs (in Honduras, Indonesia[2 loans], Tajikistan, Uganda and Ukraine) – and a $100 donation to Kiva. Adding to my previous loans of $350. Since our last post the Oprah Winfrey Show, President Clinton’s newly released book Giving and others have sung the praises of Kiva and made it a challenge to find entrepreneurs of Kiva to lend to. That seems to have been partially fixed the last few weeks (though still they limit you to no more than $25 per entrepreneur – in order to allow the large numbers of people that want to lend to get through).
I have mentioned previously the horrible “service” I received from Discover Card. They actually sent me a check finally for the overpayment. They still have failed to send me the cash back reward I earned. ust spun off their Discover Card subsidiary today). As I stated before if they sent me the money they owed I would loan that through Kiva and add an equal amount from me. Obviously I exceeded that with the loans mentioned above. If they send the cash back bonus they owe I will do the same thing.