Friday, April 9, 2010

Helping Women Entrepreneurs with Kiva is a non profit organization that empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending. Up to date kiva lenders have facilitated over $129 million in loans.

I love kiva. I became a Kiva lender 1 ½ years ago. I have found a great deal of enjoyment from helping empower low-income entrepreneurs all over the world. Kiva allows people like myself to lend $25 at a time. By joining with other Kiva lenders the needed funds are pooled to grant wonderful opportunities to third world entrepreneurs. The most inspiring aspect of Kiva is that it is not charity. It is a business loan to a motivated, hard working person who wants to better their life. This not only offers financial help but dignity and inspiration to the business person in need.
I love the fact that when your loan is paid back you can re-loan it to someone else and it just keeps rotating. Of course, you can always remove your funds if you desire. The money was not donated.

There is a risk that your loan may not be returned. Conditions in some countries are so dire that some business people may not be able to pay you back. In Kiva experience all my loans have been paid back. What I find crazy is that if a loan was defaulted on, it is $25. I can affort to risk that. What does $25 buy us here? Certainly not an opportunity to better our lives, however, the enjoyment I get from lending that $25 is worth far more.

The loan amounts vary and the higher the loan the more kiva lenders it takes to fulfill the amount.

Kiva was started by a film crew who were on location in a tpoor country. They were struck with the thought that small amounts of money can make huge changes in peoples lives.

I have been fortunate to have been given support and encouragement throughout my career. By participating in Kiva, I can pass that on to business people who really need it.

I choose to loan to women who mostly work in fashion, as I do. Meet a couple of my favorite entrepreneurs.

Jeanne Chantal Lokou is 42 years old, married and mother of two children. She lives in Lomé, a town located 120 kilometers from Kpalimé. She has been working as a seamstress for the past ten years. With Kiva’s loan, she wishes to buy an additional sewing machine to ensure her work is done quickly. With her foreseen profit, Jeanne wants to help her husband finance their children’s education.
Loan amount $1,050.

Teofila is the mother of a very loving family. She is 43 years old and lives in her own house with her only son, Elvis, who is 9 years old, and what she wants most is to give him a good education.
In the village of Jasana Capallino you can find Teofila's business. She raises cattle, which is a trade that she learned from her parents who always made sure she knew how to support herself. She sells her cattle at the Huancane fair, where they are in high demand because of how well they are cared for and fed.

What she likes best about her job is to let the animals graze, as she enjoys the outdoors. With 20 years in this trade, she believes that the most difficult part is to deliver her cattle to the Sunday fairs where they sell. For the future of her business, she hopes to increase the quantity of her stock so that can increase her earnings. Loan amount $700.

Okay, Teofila is not involved in fashion but I adore her hat. I have started a Kiva group, think about joining me in becoming a Kiva lender. It really does your heart good!

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Owner/Designer & Fashion Consultant  
Plus Size Bras, Plus Size Panties, Plus Size Shapewear, & More

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