Meet Sharifa, a 19-year-old who sells vegetables and charcoal in Uganda.
Sharifa needs USh 200,000 to grow her business (a little under $100). Eventually she’d like to open a beauty salon. She learned her business skills through a program run through the microfinance place managing her loan, BRAC Uganda.
I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I can look at this young lady and not chip in $25 toward her loan via my team at Kiva.org. (You almost always get paid back, btw — the repayment rate is close to 100 percent.)
Sharifa’s is the 1800th business I’ve invested in so far via Kiva. So far, out of over $45,000 I’ve sent out, I’ve lost less than 30 bucks. And after visiting entrepreneurs on four continents so far, I’ve seen how much good this can do with my own eyes. (If you like the idea, join my team and get started right now!)
I’m hoping to visit the good folks of BRAC Uganda on the next trip for the book.
More to come!
Next up: The International Bank of Bob, coming Spring 2013 from Walker/Bloomsbury.
After my round-the-world Forbes Traveler gig in '08, I plowed the cash into more than 4700 microloans in 63 countries, most via Kiva. Then I went traveling the developing world to see the results, meet cool people, and share wild stories.
The book includes trips to Morocco, Peru, Bosnia, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Nepal, Lebanon, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, and across America. It'll be out in Spring 2013, and I feel truly excited.