Kiva is a micro-financing site. Its business model lets individuals make “micro-loans” to entrepreneurs starting or trying to sustain small businesses around the world. The money is paid back over time (although you don’t earn interest), giving a leg up to those who need it and helping sustain their local economies.
I got the opportunity to try the site, risk-free, when a friend sent me a $25 “bonus” loan. I found a small tailoring business in India, where the location of the shop was proving to be a hindrance to obtaining new customers. The owner sought a loan move his business to a higher-traffic area. The business proposal was clear, the tailor was already established, and I took the plunge, adding my $25 to funds other Kiva members had already invested in the project.
A couple days ago I got an email from Kiva letting me know that the final payment on the loan had been made. My “investment” cycle was now complete. When I checked my account, I was thrilled to see the tailor’s business was now thriving in its new location. Calling the feeling I got a “warm fuzzy” would be a complete understatement.
So why am I blogging about this today?
Kiva has a referral bonus program that requires no investment from new users.
If you sign up for Kiva using this link, I get another credit of $25 to loan to another small business. You don’t have to spend any money, and you help me help another small business owner.
Businesses on Kiva range in location, product, requested loan amount, mission and more. There are businesses in the US, businesses run by women, and businesses in all kinds of industries. They’re diverse and help people follow their passions. The repayment rate is high, and the model allows people dignity and resources they might not otherwise have access to. The site sends very little email, based on your stated preferences, so it’s also convenient and innocuous.
Given all this, would you consider signing up for Kiva via my referral link?
It only takes a few minutes, and the warm fuzzy feeling is worth it. If you already have a Kiva account, consider adding comments about your experiences below. The more people who understand what a great site it is, the better!
*The other day, I read Google results for blogs that have three-word titles beginning with “Sexy” are prioritized in search results, and if a blog entry was ever worth trying to promote through organic search, it’s this one.
Clarification: An earlier version of this blog post was unclear about the “no interest” aspect of the loan – while the person making the loan does not receive interest back, the individual receiving the loan pays a small amount of interest on the loan, which supports the loan facilitator but is significantly less than other types of loans would incur.