On the website there are photos of the borrowers and details of their lives and what they plan to do with the money. I had kept meaning to dip my toe in the water and make a loan but never quite got around to it but today I did. I decided I would make a loan to a woman in Africa with children as that seemed the most effective use of my money but somehow none of the borrowers profiles clicked with me so I browsed some more until I found Elitza Naidenova who lives in Bulgaria. Here is her profile:
Elitza Naidenova lives in the village of Medkovetz. She works in a dairy farm in the village, but she wants to buy a cow for herself so that she can start a cow breeding business. She is not married and she lives with her parents. She is requesting $750.In her photo she is standing next to a cow, presumably on the farm where she works, and she has a great big smile on her face. She only needed $25 more to complete her loan for the cow. I just could not resist - I wanted to be the one to ensure she got her cow. The thought of Elitza buying her own cow; finding a bull to service it and then waiting patiently for the first calf to be born and the start of her new business was just too compelling.
Now through the site I get to track her repayments and also the growth of her new business!
What I love about Kiva is that it is a great example of social networking technology being used for social good. And oh by the way the default rate on the loans to date is the staggeringly tiny sum of 0.2%.