Recently I learned about Kiva.org, an amazing micro-lending Web site for the working poor. Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. It’s an opportunity for people like you and me to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. These are real individuals in need of funding. Despite their current circumstances, they’ve decided to “go for it,” because they know they can—and they will. Get involved, and you will be helping a real person make strides towards economic independence.
Amaka Okpara, 23, married with one child, lives in Lagos State, Nigeria, where she makes bags that she designs herself. While she is happy because the demand for her bags increases during this festive time of the year, she needs money to purchase materials. Through Kiva.org, she is requesting a loan of $1,200.00 that she plans to repay in eight months. But Amaka is not alone in her quest. In the Shartuz District of Tajikistan, Dilbar Asadova needs money to purchase additional inventory for her small, rural market where she sells food, clothing and personal products. Before starting her business in 2000, Dilbar was a housewife, but after her husband died she needed a way to support their four children. Her goal is to grow the business so that she is the biggest market in town.
These are just a few of the examples of women who have decided to “go for it” as entrepreneurs. In spite of the fact that they live in poor conditions, lack education and the necessary capital, they have found a way to grow their businesses through Kiva.org.
You, too, can help. I’ve decided to donate 20 percent of my book sales to Kiva.org. When you purchase a copy of Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs from the Real You Incorporated site between now and Jan. 2, 2009, you’ll also be helping women entrepreneurs like Amaka and Dilbar.