With one click of a button and a contribution of $25.00 USD, I just made possible a micro-finance loan of $700.00 to the Étoile Group in Mali.

Two weeks ago we ran a survey in order to gain feedback on our name and website. We had promised to donate $1.00 USD to a micro-finance loan through KIVA.org for every completed survey.

There were twelve surveys, and we added $13.00 USD to that, to make a loan of $25.00 USD total. When I clicked the button to complete the transaction, the total loan amount of $700.00 USD was covered.

Here is the information from the KIVA site about this loan:

The seven members of Étoile Group are mainly married women, who average 32 years of age and 5 children. Most of them live in monogamous families in Sanoubougou II, a working-class neighborhood in Sikasso (Third Administrative Region of Mali).
They are seeking their sixth loan from Kiva’s partner, the microfinance organization Soro Yiriwaso, in order to meet customer demand. Previous loans were repaid without problems.
Mariam is a member of this group who sells pagnes (colorful African cloth). She’s the one standing in the middle in the photograph.
She intends to use her loan to buy 15 pieces of pagnes Wax at the Grand Market in Bamako. She resells them for cash, at a fixed spot at the Grand Market in Sikasso, as well as at her home, to a clientele comprising mostly women.
She intends to turn an average monthly profit of XOF 11.500 (ca US$ 22), to be used in part to repay the loan, and in part to increase her savings.

We chose to lend to this group (click here for the KIVA webpage) because it is a group endeavor, individual bonding together to provide business support for each other, and encouragement to repay the micro-finance loan.

As a global citizen, I’m sure you are aware of the benefits of micro-finance loans. I won’t repeat those here.

I will tell you my own experience:

In January of 2008 I made my first KIVA loans: two loans of $25.00 USD each.
Without adding any new money of my own, I have made a total of 10 loans to different people and groups.
In addition, I have invited 8 people to sign on with KIVA and make loans.
Those 8 people have made 25 loans!
So my initial two loans of $25.00 USD each has resulted in 35 micro-finance loans!

KIVA claims a loan repayment rate of 98.87%! My experience is completely in line with that.

A big “thank you” to all who filled out survey forms and contributed to this loan. We will keep you informed of how the repayment progresses.

And we invite you to consider making a loan yourself. Click here to accept my invitation to you to make a KIVA loan.

P.S.: we have enjoyed reading the surveys very much. We have learned from them, and we are planning to make some changes to our website and name in the next week or so. Stay tuned to those!