There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. ~~John Holms
As the holidays approach, there will be many opportunities to help solo moms. One way of shaking up your holiday gift giving is to provide a hand up, not only to solo moms who are entrepreneurs, but also other ambitious solopreneurs globally. You can do so online with a micro loan via the Kiva.org lending platform.
I’ve been making micro loans to solo moms via Kiva for several years. At first I wondered how the site could help me but then I did some research and realized I could help a solo mom from as far away as Africa purchase supplies and crop for planting, instead. So I plunged right in and started lending.
Now what I’m lending is pocket change to me.
But to a solo mom struggling to make a living, your 2019 holiday gift can give her an opportunity to become more self-sufficient. By helping her to fund her project, your holiday gift giving could make a world of difference.
It’s not really a donation but it’s definitely a gift.
The small loans your make through the Kiva.org are repaid over time. As a matter of fact, the program has a 98% repayment rate. So, if you are apprehensive about losing money, just lend what you are comfortable losing. Although I must tell you I haven’t lost any money yet. And I have the satisfaction of knowing that I’m helping a few solo moms start and grow their business. My holiday gift giving can continue to be a blessing to the solo moms I lend to.
So What is Kiva?
Kiva is a 501(c)(3) organization, “headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Nairobi and staff stationed around the world.” They “envision a financially inclusive world where all people hold the power to improve their lives”. The organization serves borrowers in 80 countries on five continents and is supported by many large organization, some of which provides employee matching (if you prefer to donate).
This Youtube video is a little dated but it really gets to the essence of what Kiva is all about.
According to their website, Kiva has lent $1.8 billions in loans to individuals all over the world, including the United States. Assistance covers areas such as agriculture and education. So, including micro lending in your holiday gift giving plan, gives you an opportunity to help someone in need.
So while you whip around town making sure you cover everyone on your gift list, please reach out to someone you don’t even know and extend a helping hand. For every $50 you lend I will match it with $5. Click this link and lend to a solo mom in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean or even right here in the USA. Email me your confirmation and I will add an extra $5 on your behalf to a needy borrower.
You can choose to lend year round or just at special times of the year. But imagine that just by amending your holiday gift giving habits, you could make someone’s New Year’s resolution a reality.
And, You Can Borrow Too
If you are in need of funding for your small business, Kiva may be a source of funding for you. For example, Marie from Maryland is seeking a loan for $5,000 to purchase a convection oven and other equipment to expand her bakery; and Hy’Keem from Pittsburgh is seeking $6,500 to purchase a truck and obtain EPA certification for his construction business.
So the loans are small but I know from experience that a little goes a long way when you are in business for yourself. Personally, I only support solo moms. But the opportunity exists to support a wide array of individuals seeking assistance with their desire to be self-sufficient.
Won’t you visit Kiva.org and lend a helping hand? You will be very glad you did. And you will enhance your holiday gift giving.