a wandering woman writes

Friday, March 16, 2007

Good news

Who are really the richest people in the USA?

Motto magazine led me to a cool project put together by Tim Richardson, a speaker and author based in San Francisco. Hot on the heels of Forbes' richest lists, he's launched a project to celebrate people who are rich for what they give, whether or not they have a Forbes' worthy financial picture:

The REAL Richest People in America is about people making a difference. This inaugural list focuses on richness in giving with the aim of inspiring businesses and individuals to give their profits and their time.

Recipients will be selected not because of what they have or profit but because of what they give or what they do. “True richness comes from the love of giving back to society, and happens whether you make $10,000 or $10 million a year” says list founder Tim Richardson.

These nominees reflect the best about the joy of giving back; using their time and resources to make a difference in the world.

The list of nominees is a fun, inspiring read.

Kiva keeps growing

In other good news, my first Kiva loan has been paid off!

If you've somehow missed my previous soap box posts about Kiva, I never had more fun opening an email than I did every time I received a payment update from the Kiva businesses in my portfolio, until yesterday, when the e-mail announced that a loan had been completely repaid. My tiny investment popped back into my Kiva account, for me to withdraw, donate to Kiva, or reinvest in another business. I reinvested.

Kiva lets you loan as little as $25 to an entrepreneur in the developing world safely, directly, effortlessly and online, with a credit card or paypal account. I can't think of an easier way to make a direct, bureacracy-free difference to one person determined to find his own way out of poverty. Every penny you loan goes to the business owner in whom you invest, and every penny comes back to you, when the loan has been fully repaid. Best of all, you get to follow the entrepreneur's progress. Every Kiva update e-mails I receive about one of my businesses gives me a nice wide-eyed dose of perspective.

So far, I've loaned to a young man making a go of his deceased father's shoestore in Honduras, a young woman launching her own cloth stand at a market in Cambodia, an immigrant Turk's café in Bulgaria, a women's co-op raising steers in Kenya, a wedding decoration firm in Tanzania, a hardware store in Ecuador, and widely scattered soft drink vendors and general store owners.

If you've ever wondered what you could "do" to make a hands-on difference with little money and little time, Kiva's a great place to start.



  • wow, that sounds wonderful! I'm going to look into that for sure...

    By Anonymous Alexandra, at 3:07 PM  

  • Hi Erin,

    You've inspired me and after reading all your kiva-related blog entries and watching the presentation at the business week site, I set up a kiva account and gave out my first loans! I don't have much money at the moment so I decided to start up with 100$, which I distributed to 4 different businesses.

    So right now I support:
    - a seamstress shop in Samoa
    - a clothing sales shop in Togo
    - a general store in Togo
    - a grocery store in Nicaragua

    I confess I'm guilty of a little gender discrimination as I decided to loan only to women at this point.

    I'll write something on my blog about this wonderful organization soon...

    By Anonymous Alexandra, at 4:34 PM  

  • Are you kidding, Alex? 100 is a lot, as you saw from how little each business needs. I am so glad you did that!! You are going to get a high every time somebody make a payment, like I do, I can just tell.

    Cool, cool. I was worried I was preaching. ;)

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 9:01 PM  

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