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Microloans over the 'Net

by Colman Tue Oct 25th, 2005 at 07:10:02 AM EST

Via The Sharpener comes this story about an interesting microcredit set-up.

A new twist on this idea is Kiva, the world’s first peer-to-peer, distributed microloan website, set up by Jessica and Matthew Flannery.

Kiva’s first country of focus is Uganda, where the Internet is available even in poor rural areas. Lenders may loan money through kiva.org, which lists businesses in need of funding and provides background on the entrepreneur starting the enterprise. Individuals may makes loans in increments as small as $25, and can expect to receive repayment, without interest, at the end of the loan term, which typically runs between six and 12 months. Since Kiva’s source of capital is charitably-minded individuals, it is able to provide more flexible loan terms than traditional financial institutions.

To date Kiva has funded 13 small enterprises in Uganda, including a livestock business, a medicine shop, several produce businesses, a fish monger and a clothing reseller. Two of the entrepreneurs have already repaid their loans in full. The enterprises Kiva is working with are asking for loans averaging $500, and the average lender is loaning between $25 and $100.

This looks to be wonderful idea. The Kiva website is well worth exploring. May I suggest that you also post this on dKOS to give a wider audience the opportunity to `invest'. I'd be happy to post it if you prefer not to.

Do not feel safe. The poet remembers.
Czeslaw Milosz
by Chris Kulczycki on Tue Oct 25th, 2005 at 10:20:17 AM EST
Oh, feel free - I'm only stealing from the Sharpener.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 25th, 2005 at 10:58:33 AM EST
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