Lend to the poor all over the worldKiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. I started using Kiva last year.

When you browse entrepreneurs’ profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.

Kiva partners with existing expert micro finance institutions. They are experts in choosing qualified entrepreneurs. That said, they are usually short on funds. Through Kiva, partners upload their entrepreneur profiles directly to the site so you can lend to them. The power of the internet is used to facilitate one-to-one connections that were previously prohibitively expensive. Kiva creates a interpersonal connection at much lower costs due to the instant, inexpensive nature of internet delivery.

You can personalize a web page on Kiva, here is mine.

Articles about micro finance:
The Six Lessons of Kiva
Fight Poverty With Online Microlending
Business Lessons from Kiva
eBay’s New Direction: Micro-Finance