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Microlender Kiva Organization Helps Farmers in Developing Nations

This farmer receives help in the form of loans via Kiva This farmer receives help in the form of loans via Kiva


In the world of too-big-to-fail megabanks, microlending is bringing investment back to what it was meant to be: small-to-medium size loans between investors and businesses. Typically utilized in developing nations where people only need a few hundred dollars to start their business or finance their next harvest, this new form of financing goes beyond charity and allows people to do for themselves.

Several dependable organizations have sprouted up to facilitate these transactions, and one of the best is Kiva. With a 99% repayment rate out of almost 300 million loans from their nearly 1 million borrowers in 67 countries, Kiva has proven to be a reliable microlending organization for developing nations.

The seeds of Kiva (the word for “unity” in Swahili) sprouted in the mind of college student Jessica Jackley as she listened to a lecture by Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize-winning father of microlending. A trip to Africa with soon-to-be co-founder Matt Flannery, where they learned firsthand about the goals and needs of people in small villages without access to typical loans, solidified their decision to begin a small microfinance project, and it has only grown from there.

Kiva receives support from magazines like Rosebud and our parent company, Advanced Nutrients, which have made individual loans worth over $22,000 to deserving entrepreneurs in South and Central America, Africa and Asia.

How Microlending Works

It’s pretty simple. A potential lender checks out the Kiva website, looking for people (borrowers) to whom they would like to lend some money. It can be as little as $25 or as much as the entire requested loan amount.

These borrowers have already been pre-screened based on their past loan history, reputation of business, and reason for needing the loan (similar to what happens when someone gets a loan from a bank). Performing these screens are Kiva’s field partners, who are essentially microfinance institu-tions, this industry’s version of a bank.

While Kiva has had an excellent track record in picking its field partners, the organization recommends that you lend small amounts to multiple borrowers (otherwise known as diversification) to minimize your losses should you end up dealing with someone unscrupulous, or if an unforeseen occurrence causes you to lose your investment.

Kiva’s borrowers and field partners are featured on the Kiva.org website, where you can read about them, their type of business and why they need a loan. You can also see whether they have had Kiva loans in the past that have been repaid — a sign of a safe investment.

Who Does Rosebud Magazine Lend To?

Kiva receives support from magazines like Rosebud and our parent company, Advanced Nutrients, which have made individual loans worth over $22,000 to deserving entrepreneurs in South and Central America, Africa and Asia.

Most (but not all) Advanced Nutrients-financed loans go to farmers or those who are otherwise involved in agricultural endeavors, like the raising of livestock or selling of organic and locally grown produce. Here are three of the more than 500 people who have benefitted from our loans.

Eduardo from Mexico

Currently working the corporate grind in the offices of a coffee company, Eduardo makes extra money by growing coffee on a piece of land that he pur-chased some time ago.

He received a loan to help him clean and prepare for his next growing season, when he will be expanding his operation. Kiva offers special loans to farmers that do not need to be repaid until after the farmer has harvested and made their money for the season (rather than the month-to-month repayment plans that many borrowers must follow), so growers like Eduardo can focus on their harvest rather than worrying about repaying a loan.

By using Kiva, Eduardo was able to receive donations from 28 people, which fully covered the cost of his requested loan.

Cyprian from Kenya

Switching gears a little bit, we have Cyprian, a pharmacist from Kenya who needed money to buy more medications for his small village pharmacy. This is especially important in a country like Kenya, where disease and infections are prevalent, and where preventative and reparative medicine, things as simple as antibiotics or antimalarials, can be life-saving.

Cyprian received $1,200 for these medications, and he has made every payment ahead of schedule. His is exactly the kind of business that Kiva was created to support, and we are proud to have helped Cyprian and his village receive the life-saving medications they needed.

Conchita from The Philippines

Conchita is now in the process of repaying her second small loan, after successfully repaying the first.

A married 29-year-old who owns and operates a small farm, Conchita used her first $200 loan to buy seeds, seedlings and small plants to get things going; now she has borrowed a second $200 to pay for fertilizer and other assorted nutritional needs of her plants.

She had six lenders, including Rosebud, illustrating how even small amounts of money can make a difference when we work together.

Is Microlending the Future of Helping the Third World?

Since its founding, Kiva has received widespread support from the media, the international community, and other non-profit groups. And it is easy to see why: Even in a tough economy, Kiva make it simple for almost anyone to donate and make an actual difference in the life of another hu-man being. A lot of us sit at computers or tap away at our phones to try to say things that may make a difference, but how often do we succeed?

We can all learn something from a group like Kiva and its founders, Jessica Jackley and Matt Flannery. They took a simple idea, with simple exe-cution, and turned it into a mega non-profit that makes a real difference. Bravo.

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Kiva is a great way to help even when it’s not Christmastime.
Last modified on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 16:57

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