Empowering Through Lending

KIVA profile

A young woman from Nicaragua seeking financing of $575 to buy used clothing, corn, & firewood for her business.

After hearing Scott Rowswell’s talk last month, Probus member, Steph Smith, decided she would like to try making her own Kiva loan. It made good sense to her that she could empower someone with a small business loan. Another factor was that Scott and his wife have made over 50 Kiva loans and have always been repaid.

The KIVA web site offers numerous applicants from which Steph chose Sandra, a single mother who lives in Ecuador in a house that she rents with her 7-year-old son who attends school. Sandra’s house is located next to the local secondary school, so two years ago, she started a business in which she makes photocopies and has booths for making telephone calls. Sandra states that she is going to invest the loan in the purchase of a computer to provide internet service, since the students are asking her for that service.  Sandra aspires to adapt her business and to offer more variety of services in order to improve her income and give her son a good education.
Steph has reported that it is a satisfying way to use one’s charitable dollars and fun to chose your borrower.  Many others seem to agree:  Well over 2 million dollars has been lent in this past week.  Almost 99% of loans are repaid in full!

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