Saturday, January 3, 2009

Microfinancing...Easy as 1,2,3

Entrepreneurs Need You Now!

You might have heard about this new thing called Microfinance. It has quickly become one of the easiest ways to globally invest into the growing low-income and poor population. Microfinance has already helped literally tens of thousands of individuals, families, and groups. Without these small or "micro" loans, many wouldn't have anywhere else to turn for financial services. It's important to keep in mind that these individuals have lots of ideas, a willingness to work hard, and goals to expand their businesses so they can make a better life for themselves and their families. The World Bank estimated that in 2005 there were approximately 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. This just goes to show that these people are not asking for huge loans. You can start funding someone for just $25! Ready to be an investor? Entrepreneurs need you Now!

How It Works:
1. We've compiled just a few of the many microfinance sites below! Choose one and start exploring the different areas they are serving. If you have a country or region in mind, chances are, they'll have something. There are descriptions of the individuals and their aspirations, their businesses, and some goals they are ready to achieve.
2. Loan out some money. Through, you can help fund individuals starting at $25.00!
3. You can continue to go back to the site anytime to fund more entrepreneurs, there isn't a limit!
4. Through the next few months you'll begin to receive payments back from the entrepreneur(s) that you have funded dependent upon the terms. Some even give you interest on top of what you intially invested. Woah!
5. Repeat steps 1-4.

Microfinance Organizations and Websites:
Opt In Now
Grameen Foundation
Global Partnerships
Womens Trust

1. Get with some family members or friends and try funding entrepreneurs together.
2. After receiving your investment back, invest it again. It's the gift that literally keeps on giving.
3. Research and Learn more about the culture and country of your entrepreneurs.
4. If you are planning a vacation or mission trip, consider visiting one of your entrepreneurs.

Addition Resources:
Forbes Magazine first ever 50 Top Microfinance Institutions
United Nations Capital Development Fund
Global Issues: Poverty
Small Things Challenge