Yunus’ concept of microcredit – small loans to poor villagers in Bangladesh to help them buy livestock or fund an enterprise, has grown from $27 he loaned out of his own pocket into the Grameen Bank, which has loaned more than $5.7 billion to 6.61 million borrowers. Despite lack of collateral or signed loan documents, 99 percent of the loans have been paid back. The Grameen Bank provides services in more than 71,000 villages in Bangladesh through 2,226 branches.Just a few days ago I was channel surfing and stumbled upon a Frontline story Uganda: A Little Goes a Long Way which showed how an organization called Kiva was using the internet to connect people like me with deserving entrepreneurs in far away places. The response to this TV show was overwhelming as their website was swamped and inaccessible for several days. The website finally came back up and I was able to make my first "microloan" Saturday night. I used my credit card to loan $25 to Ariola Sánchez, a retailer in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Kiva pooled my $25 along with loans from 9 others to fully funded her request for a $250 business loan to purchase an inventory for resale.
Kiva is not a religious organization but I could tell that many of the entrepreneurs who benefit from the loans are Christian. One of the items Ariola sells, for examples, is Bibles. I encourage my readers to visit the Kiva website with their credit card handy.