From CNN Quote:
Kiva, unlike some Wall Street funds investing in microfinance, isn't designed as an investment vehicle.
Lenders on Kiva can hope to get their loan repaid in full, but they don't get paid interest. The "return on investment" comes in the form of pictures and stories of a business idea moving from a concept to a (hopefully) money-making reality.
Using PayPal as an intermediary, lenders create an account at Kiva and can then browse through photos and business pitches from those seeking a loan.
Pitches from people like Charles Ekoju, who wanted $500 to buy eight bails of used clothing to sell out of his house.
Or Joseph Adongu, who got $500 to add better goats to his herd.
"That is now helping him support his family and pay school fees for his children," reads Adongu's monthly update on Kiva. "With large profit he gets, he is faithful in handling the loan and paying back promptly."
The lender, whose loan can be combined with others to meet the needs of a borrower, is credited through their PayPal account as the loan is paid back.
You don't make interest on the loan so we can't be said to be exploiting these folks. Instead we get pictures and updates about the way the money has made an actual difference.Businessweek
The repayment and loan system all apparently works through Paypal and is done free of charge for all parties.
I really think it would be nice if we could all pitch in, fund say a $500 loan (perhaps even funded by AI/AN regulars exclusively) and then we could all share in the updates related to the loan.Kiva 1Kiva 2Kiva 3
Here are three examples of the types of loans I figured we could fund. I know we are talking about folks who appear to earn $3-10 U.S. dollars per day but the risk is shared as well.
Edit: The transactions occur via the Paypal site and you do not need a Paypal account. You can simply pay with a bank card that has a Visa/Mastercard logo or with a credit card.