Microloans You Can Provide

For a variety of reasons, including poor performance and disappointing changes in their policies, I decided to sell my eBay stock and give the money to someone who needed it more than eBay or I did. I debated what to do with the money for a while. Finally I gave most of it to fund microloans through WorldVision, one of my favorite organizations. Microloans, as the name implies, are small loans given to people in developing countries who run very small businesses or want to start new ones. Recipients of the loans generally are part of a group that shares ideas, supports its members, and cross-guarantees the loans. They also receive training in business management to help them use the loans most effectively. Due to their support, training, and strong desire to succeed, they repay the loans 96 percent of the time. I imagine that’s higher than a typical bank would get and certainly much higher than I got from my Prosper.com borrowers. Instead of returning to the original lender, the repaid loan stays in a fund and then goes out to another borrower, making microloan programs almost self-perpetutating. Microfinance is a fantastic idea that is changing lives all over the world. I encourage you to get involved! Skip one dinner out this month and use the money to help change someone’s life instead.

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