Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kiva Loan Fully Repaid and Reinvested

One of my Kiva loans was recently fully repaid. As a result, I had the options (1) to have my $25 returned to me, (2) to give the $25 as a Kiva gift certificate to someone else, or (3) to reloan the money to another small-scale entrepreneur in the developing world. I chose option 3, making my first loan to someone in Tanzania.

For a period of time around Christmas 2007, all Kiva businesses were fully funded. It appears that either donors have dropped off somewhat since then or Kiva has scaled up their efforts to find entrepreneurs, or perhaps some combo of both. Several entrepreneurs are currently waiting to be funded.

I've also noticed that there is an increasing number of loans below $200. I like that, because it gives me the sense that my money is going to people who are in greater need than the people who get $1,000 loans, for example. According to KivaFriends, the average Kiva loan as of today is $553, down from $612 when I checked in late December.

One downside is that I can't measure the results of my loan -- for example, I don't know whether the man who paid off my loan increased his income and by what percent. Ideally, Kiva would require that metric to be tracked as part of their lending process.

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