Thursday, June 18, 2009


I just realized that for less the cost of lunch out with my family, I can invest in a business in another country. $25 is not a lot in the U.S., even to those in the American level of poverty, it's less than a monthly cell phone bill (which most in the U.S. seem to manage)
In a country like Paraguay or Peru where the average annual income is less than $5000 (yes, that's a WHOLE YEARS income for the average family) small loans can make a big difference in the ability to start, grow, or continue a business. Kiva is a non-profit that coordinates small loans to developing businesses around the world. I love this idea of microfinance, because it's a way that all of us, even those without a lot of disposable income- can make a difference with very small amounts of money. They have a great record- over 98% of loans have been paid back- and thousands of folks have been helped on their way to a better life.
This morning I found two small clothing companies in South America that had my name written all over them, and with the money I didn't spend on kids' rides at the fair, I am investing in these women.
Why not check it out, and consider what you could do if you skipped a few coffees?