There are many women worldwide that need a boost of capital in order to establish themselves with earning capability. The loan investment required is very small, but makes a big difference. Kiva.org is a worldwide collective joining funds together to make a difference.
Some people have video games. I do micro financing. I really enjoy it, like it is a game. But it is certainly not a game. A moment hits me and I am ready to lend. First, I create my filters for criteria. My filters are Individual, Women, and I select a region and categories, which means country and business sector. I usually select Agriculture, Food or Clothing. These are very small businesses. Usually run from a home or a stand. I do not fund education, medical, reconstruction or personal items of the human condition. I finance growth. I only fund very small businesses. I do not fund groups unless they are less than 5 women. And I study the terms of repayment before I lend. 3 years is too long. 6 months is unrealistic.
The fun for me is selecting a borrower. She must have a clear photo that exudes self confidence, in her stature and her environment. I always select older women, with children without a husband. I select partially already funded borrowers, by at least 20% already funded by other Kiva lenders. So she already has a start in the process. I press the LEND button, and say a prayer. My prayer is that she will be 100% funded within 48 hours, or before her post time expires. My ladies always get funded 100% within 48 hours. I believe that my loan and prayer are a magnet for others to join in and bring her to her dream, which is 100% funded. I watch the funding bar move. I get excited as it moves closer to 100%. Usually when I wake up I'll check, and she's onboard, as part of my portfolio. Yay, Yippie!!!!
Periodically I check on my ladies progress. I call them my ladies because they are my world family. We are in this together. And I feel like I am helping to care for them. They are my collective for the greater good. We work together. Every tiny repayment adds up to a new opportunity for another sister. That is the understanding. I see photos and read their stories. I watch the progress of the loans. I watch the success of the field partner who is in charge of the funds on both sides. I monitor their success as well. There are many moving parts. I receive repayment according to a scheduled plan. And I select the new woman to be funded after I receive loan payments from other borrowers. So the money is always recycling. Because I have several women growing businesses that repay me simultaneously, I can reach out and make a loan to another woman in a shorter period of time. I always recycle the money. When I receive a "repaid 100%" post on any of my borrowers photos, I say a prayer of congratulations and a wish for continuous success in her life.
Most of my borrowers repay according to their plan. Very few become delinquent, or end in default. Usually this is due to war and refugee hardship, etc. This pandemic surprisingly has not slowed down my repayments. But it has slowed down the amount of lending being done. The amount of my loans that ended in default are only 2.6% since 2012. My ladies repay and re-borrow because they have growth and commitment to themselves. They understand that the repayment is the opportunity for another sister to have a chance. And also for her to re-borrow so she can expand her business. That's the basis and the driving force. Women supporting women. Men are also a part of Kiva, but I concentrate of the Women's worldwide community. I have done 82 loans, (80 women, 2 men) in conjunction with an innumerable amount of other Kiva lenders, doing their part as well for the international community.
How it works...I shop for a borrower. The rest of the world is shopping for borrowers as well. These are Zero interest loans. We all shop in different time zones. Some of us are individuals, like me. Some of us are teams, large and small. All of the lenders select filters for criteria. We create our own criteria. Then a selection of borrowers appears according to the criteria. A photo, story, and the amount of loan they seek. And then the lenders select borrowers. All borrowers start at 0% at the time of their picture/story post. Their post is for 30 days. Whatever loans are submitted is theirs at the end of the post date. Of coarse everyone wants to receive 100% funding, but sometimes it doesn't happen for many reasons. Unrealistic goals is the main reason. But my picks always win.
Why do I do micro financing? I feel that my collective is the spirit for me to do well myself. Since they can do it, then so can I. It's about the power of the collective. I encourage my collective borrowers by lending with a collective of lenders. The borrowing collective shows me the possibilities of what can happen with encouragement. It's truly a wonderful experience and sight to behold. It is a heartcall and a joy. My borrowers, my ladies, my sisters encourage me.
The old phrase goes, don't give a fish. Give a fishing pole, a means in which to catch the fish.
Countries & Territories I have lent to women entrepreneurs...on Kiva.org
Benin Ecuador Kenya Mexico Peru Sierra Leone Vietnam
Bolivia Egypt Kosovo Mozambique Philippines Tanzania Zimbabwe
Cambodia Fiji Kyrgyzstan Nicaragua Rwanda Timor-Leste
Colombia Ghana Lebanon Pakistan Samoa Uganda
Congo (DRC) Jordan Mali Palestine Senegal United States