I've heard about micro-finance and admired organizations like Kiva that make it accessible across the globe, but never actually participated in it. When I read about Act 5, my initial desire was to participate in a time bank, but unfortunately none currently exist in my neighborhood. So I figured I should try to do a micro-loan, and see how that goes.
I logged into Kiva and browsed through ten pages of entrepreneurs. Many of them were getting into retail and animal sales, or cosmetics or the repair industry. I wanted my loan to support people dedicated to a sustainable industry. While I appreciate the gumption of people wanting to sell candy, soft drinks, and cows, I don't personally want my money to support that.
The organization on the front page, the Tessito Group
, ended up being the one most appealing to me. They're making brooms and oil from palm trees, and while the palm industry isn't the most sustainable in the world as it has caused much deforestation, it is one of the most productive forms of agriculture for making oil and fiber and CAN be done sustainably.
So I made a loan to Tessito, and am looking forward to see what happens now. The money has already been disbursed, my dollars just back filled it. Now the 8 lady entrepreneurs will repay the loan over a year or so.
I'm excited to participate in something like this. Hopefully loans like this will encourage more and more entrepreneurs worldwide to take their future into their own hands.