Urgent Evoke

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Supporting art in Africa: criteria for EVOKE inspired microlending

I decided to join the EVOKE team (15 members, me included, as of today) on the microlending site Kiva. After some search on the website I allocated a microloan of $50 to Ms. Mame Diarra Samb from Diamaguène Thies, Senegal. She sells works of art at the local market, and will use her loan to purchase more works so she can bolster sales.


Here's my criteria for choosing her, which I propose for EVOKE agents willing to do some more microlending.

  • I restricted my choice to loans in Africa, in homage to EVOKE's African focus (I know Alchemy would secretly sympathize).
  • I picked someone with 0% delinquency and default rate. As the loan is paid back, it will go into my KIVA account for being lent again, so I have a responsibilty to pick good debtors: bad ones would prevent the next person in the cue to get their loan!
  • Ms. Samb is likely to buy her art from local artists. Therefore, she is helping to connect Senegalese artists with their market: helping her we also invest in an (admittedly small and local) infrastructure for the local art scene. The latter is piece of the local economy, and could in time grow to be a strategic asset.
Ms. Samb's loan of $525 was pre-disbursed. Kiva is trying to backfill this loan. $125 have already been raised (including my $50), $400 more to go. Kiva lenders have backfilled it 100%, and are now awaiting reimbursement.

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