First ebay came along and democratized commerce, created accountability on the web, and empowered thousands of small businesses.
Then Meetup showed up and got people out of their homes and into their neighborhoods. Activists, enthusiasts, and supporters found new voices and new support.
Today I discovered Kiva, which connects first world microlenders with entrepreneurs in developing countries. It looks like they’ve been around since 2005, but their current UI is squarely Web 2.0 (Widgets, social networking, soft color palette).
Update: Looks like they got some cheese from Omidyar Network last month.
Think I’m wrong? Give examples.
Profitable investments? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think any of these loans have an associated interest rate. You don’t make a profit — in fact you lose money on the lost opportunity cost of your money.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Kiva is a great way to help someone in need out. Sadly, despite beingaround for a year or two, they’ve only loaned out or solicited loans for a few million dollars. A pittance, really, compared to the need and the available capital.
Now, if you’re really looking to make money on your loan portfolio, go check out prosper.com. There you get to make loans with actual interest. And you see the credit risk associated with each borrower. And you can distribute your $$ across multiple loans to mitigate your risk.
this basically has nothing to do with your post, but very interesting that they are using Plone for their efforts. might need to get in touch with them… . 😉
Thanks… delete delete delete.
It does sound like prosper.com is a better option, though it looks like their self-serve model favors borrowers who have Internet access, whereas many of the loan recipients on Kiva are repped by development agencies.
I think either Nate or someone at Enfold led me to that interesting fact.
That was me, Peter. 😉
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