After almost one year, I looked at my portfolio and was amazed to see that out of the entrepreneurs funded last year, the first to complete repayment of the entire loan, was a construction worker from Afghanistan, Nasir Ahmad Abdul Hamid. He used the loan for construction materials to rebuild his house and family run restaurant. Way to go, Nasir!
According to author and economist Niall Ferguson . one of the things that has brought us to the global financial meltdown is the way the international banking system spiraled out of control. Planet Finance began to eclipse Planet earth whose own resource assets were simultaneously being eroded by environmental abuse. This made me think that if banks are so irresponsible and removed from the realities of their industry through incompetence rather than greed, there has to be another way for people to borrow and save. Microfinance can be a more direct way to loan funds to entrepreneurial initiatives. It is also a collaborative enterprise as many different groups are involved. The actual loans are managed by field operatives who know their customer base. I have been looking at the various organizations and decided to start making loans through Kiva. They have developed a great web based system that allows you to select and choose the entrepreneur, the project, the region and track the repayment. Today I started with 5 loans to budding entrepreneurs in Bolivia, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Cambodia. Good luck to them all!