Size of Wales conservationist, Dan MitchellReid Hoffman, one of Silicon Valley’s most successful entrepreneurs, has pledged one million dollars in micro-loans on the Kiva website to help tiny businesses around the globe. The cool part is that you can take $25 of that fortune and direct it to the borrower you think most deserves it.

There are still 3,178 free trials available for you to funnel $25.00 of Hoffman’s money to the person of your choice. Just sign up on the Kiva website and grab the $25 credit, then search among the plethora of global citizens seeking loans, from Ethiopian farmers to Pakistani weavers to mothers who run a shop in Peru.

While the loan is being repaid, you will receive updates from the borrower on how the funds were used and how they are doing. After you try Kiva for free, you can then decide if you want to lend your own money to another borrower on the site, as little as $25 at a time.

This is the first time Kiva has given its users the ability to lend out an individual’s personal wealth. Since March 14, the site has seen a record of new users for the service and more than $900,000 loaned from these free credits.

“Kiva brings us all closer to a time when each of us has the opportunity to reach our full potential, whether we live in the world’s biggest cities or most remote villages,” said Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and Kiva Board Member. “Through Kiva’s Free Trial program I am inviting people to make that potential a reality for 40,000 people worldwide so they can create a better future for themselves and their families.”

Kiva helps to break the cycle of poverty worldwide by connecting lenders to borrowers through loans that change lives. More than 98 percent of Kiva borrowers repay their loans, an unheard of rate for commercial banking.

Indian women - photo by Sun StarOften only a relatively small amount of money stands in the way of Kiva borrowers and their dreams. Whether it is a family in New Orleans hoping to start a small business, or a young Bolivian woman who lacks the tuition for nursing school, Kiva gives the people the chance to lend their support to these and countless other borrowers. And, by lending as little as $25 to a borrower, you not only help an individual lift themselves out of poverty, you are setting in motion a ripple effect of change for their families and communities.

Since Kiva’s founding in 2005, more than 700,000 micro lenders have funded more than $293 million in loans to 748,000 borrowers from 61 countries including the United States. (Grab your free loan on the Kiva website, here.

(Photo, bottom, by Sun Star)

Leave a Reply