Kiva lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur in the developing world – empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty. You can loan as little as USD 25 and get paid the money back on succeed of the entrepreneurs business. I loaned some money myself to Eloy, a guy from Bolivia who does work in metal, such as doors and windows. He needed a loan of $ 300 for buying materials for his work. So I decided to contribute 25 $ plus an additional 2,50 $ (for covering overhead costs) to help him run his business. I will get paid back the 25 $ in monthly rates beginning with February 15th 2009, so the money is not “gone” and I can use the money afterwards to loan it to another person that needs a loan – or withdraw it from Kiva, if I need the money myself again (which is very unlikely in this case;-).
Because the system is so innovative and yet different from normal bank loans, I found this film that explains the Story of Kiva.org Loan.
A fistful of dollars: The story of a kiva.org loan