The theory behind micro-lending is similar to the “teach a man to fish” analogy. Instead of directly handing out aid to developing nations, micro-lending finances sustainable projects through small loans. In theory, these loans will enable entrepreneurs to end their own poverty as well as develop the local economy.
Kiva.org, a socially progressive start-up, focuses exactly on the idea of micro-loans. Through partnerships with existing micro-finance institutions throughout the world, Kiva allows you to loan money using their site. You will receive updates and information about the project along the course of the 6-12 month loan.
Kiva takes the micro-lending idea and combines it with the democratizing power of the internet to allow you (or me, or the guy reading this over your shoulder) to connect with entrepreneurs in the third world and give them a loan. You can search Kivaâ€™s website to find a businessman or woman that you want to support, and, as time goes by, you can see the impact that your loan has made on your business partnerâ€™s life. Your $25 might do more than buy food for a week. It could supply someone with a lifelong profession.