Wednesday, December 09, 2009

When The Shift Hits The Fan!

You might get hit and that's what happened to me.

Karl Fisch
and his Kiva team, Shift Happens, is joining forces once again to help out entrepreneurs in impoverished countries. Karl organized this last year and was kind enough to choose me to be the recipient of one of his gift certificates which of course, will pay forward as I make my loan and then purchase 2 gift certificates to give to members of my PLN. (My loan from last year was repaid 100%.)

Kiva allows individuals to contribute a small amount of money (as low as $25.00) that is then loaned to entrepreneurs in impoverished communities. When that loan is repaid (currently almost 97% are repaid), then the individual that originally made the loan can choose to loan the money out to another entrepreneur, donate it to kiva to help with their operating expenses, or actually get the money back.

Poor people in impoverished communities often don’t have access to financial institutions and capital, and microfinancing addresses this problem. It is especially helpful to women, who often are the key to raising families – and communities – out of poverty.

From the Kiva website:
You can go to Kiva's website and lend to someone across the globe who needs a loan for their business - like raising goats, selling vegetables at market or making bricks. Each loan has a picture of the entrepreneur, a description of their business and how they plan to use the loan so you know exactly how your money is being spent - and you get updates letting you know how the entrepreneur is going.

The best part is, when the entrepreneur pays back their loan you get your money back - and Kiva's loans are managed by microfinance institutions on the ground who have a lot of experience doing this, so you can trust that your money is being handled responsibly.

My two loans are:
1. To an entrepreneur named Dekagar Group in Liberia. They still need another $200.00 to complete their loan request of $625.00.
2. To Mrs. Yong Sam in Cambodia who has been selling groceries for 2 years. She buys grocery items from Korki market for resale in front of her house. Her husband has been a farmer for 30 years. She is asking for a loan of $1,000 to purchase a motorcycle for commuting. She needs only $250.00 more to complete her load request.

I invite you to join Team Shift Happens and contribute however much possible to Kiva.

Join The Team

On Karl's suggestion, I've donated the value of his gift certificate along with the money from my loan last year which has been fully repaid. I also purchased two $25 gift certificates that I will email to two members of my PLN asking them to do the same as I did:
  1. Log in to Kiva.
  2. Join Team Shift Happens (click on Community and search keyword, "shift").
  3. Choose the entrepreneur to whom they will loan the value of the gift certificate.
  4. Then consider doing the same thing I did - purchase two $25 gift certificates and email them to two members of their PLN with the same request to "pay it forward."
What can you do?
  • Make a $25 loan yourself, or
  • Do what I did; make a $25 loan, then purchase two $25 gift certificates and email them to folks you know and ask them to do the same, and/or
  • If you’re a blogger, also consider blogging about this and making the same request to your readers.
Even if you can't contribute financially, if you can blog about this, send this info in an email or just tell your friends and get the word out, you are still contributing a great deal.


Seth DIckens said...

Kiva sounds cool. Nice one for loaning some money.

I think that Web 2.0 philosophy and connectivity should help "regular" people like us to make more of a difference to the lives of people in developing countries with "direct action" style loans, help and eventually, possibly even online teaching.

I just don't understand your post title! Where is the shit here and which fan is it hitting? Everything seems fairly positive to me!

Lee Kolbert said...

Hi Seth,
I agree that Web 2.0 brings the world closer to us. That's why it's such a passion of mine.

As for the title, "...SHIFT hits the fan" refers to Karl Fisch's "Shift Happens" slideshow having another global impact. When Karl started this he reached out to just a few people who then reached out to others; it spread far and wide.

Thanks for commenting.

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