With rising gas prices, inflation and economic hardship; $700 won't go very far. It probably won't buy an ad in the paper or an Advo run. You can't buy much of a computer or pay the salary of an employee for more than a few weeks with $700.
If you were going for a business loan, $700 would probably not be the amount you would ask for. Am I right?
And yet, with $700, Sylvia has used the money to buy a hair dryer, chairs and hair products so she can grow herbusiness in Nairobi. Prior to the loan her business focused on braiding, weaving and plaiting corn rows.
Since we loaned her that seemingly small amount, she has been able to grow her business to the point of continuing to provide for her family of three children and her nephew and niece (both Sylvia's brother and sister-in-law died of Aids) and she has begun to pay back the loan. In fact, as of this month – she has repaid more than 1/2 of the original loan amount!
For Sylvia, $700 made all the difference in the world. You can also help enterprising men and women around the world with small micro-loans. Kiva International offers a service which connects angels, like you, with entrepreneurs like Sylvia. For just $25 you can participate in helping someone's business grow to the next level.
Unlike other charities where your donation is just that – a gift. With Kiva, the entrepreneurs pay back the amount you've lent so you can offer the same dollar amount to someone else.
Norma Rist of Norma J. Rist CEO Consulting brought several of us together to combine our funds to help Sylvia and she keeps us posted on how Sylvia's business is thriving. It is exciting to watch!
This holiday season, when you are looking for a way to "give back" consider Kiva.
Deborah Chaddock Brown