Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Reverse Portfolios at KIVA

It's the first of the month and that's when I do my business QuickBooks updates. I have now made it a practice to loan out $100 monthly through Kiva, a microfinance portal. I have written about Kiva's amazing work before, but in short, through PayPal technology, Kiva makes it possible for anyone with a surplus to loan it at no interest to people needing credit to enhance their livelihoods. This month's loan is towards Alice Eni Angi in Cameroon. The hardest thing about Kiva is choosing whom to fund, since all the recipients are compelling and responsible. Alice is a second wife with eight children, so it seemed like if there is anyone in the world who deserves a break, it's this lady.
Now that I've been doing this for quite a few months, I can scroll through "My Account" at Kiva and see how all the loanees are doing, some of whom submit reports. It strikes me that it's a nice antidote to looking at one's investment portfolio to see how you're doing. This is an opportunity to look at your portfolio and see how you are helping others along. It also shows the other lenders to your loanee, since unless you fund someone's complete proposal, you are part of a group of sponsors. One of Alice's loaners is a cab driver from Las Vegas, who states so eloquently,

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
Well said, Behzad!

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