Day 3 – The Kiva Giveaway

First of all, congratulations to Amanda K. (#7) for winning the Day 2 Giveaway – Jen’s Christmas Cards!

I have a confession (I find myself saying that a lot on this blog):

I went to business school for 2 years and I don’t feel like I know a lot about business. Sure, I understand basic economic principles like depreciation, supply/demand, and competitive advantage. I don’t, however, understand how all the puzzle pieces fit on a global scale.

Like many of you I don’t grasp what our place as Americans in 2010 really is. We (I) tend to shut out the rest of our (my) non-American world. It’s easier that way. It’s more comfortable to live within the square, tv-shaped world we’ve carved out for ourselves. It’s a lot more fun that way too. We can ignore the other 192 countries and 6 billion people who live in them.

Or…we can do this.

For the last 2 years I’ve been a Kiva member. Kiva, in their own words is an organization that:

Empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.

In other words – I give my money to people trying to start small businesses in other countries and they pay me back once they get their business going. Once they pay me back I lend to someone else. And on and on it goes. As someone who reads entrepreneurial books incessantly, I appreciate this, as a Christian, I find it imperative.

I’ve given money to electronic salesmen in Ghana, bakers in Tajikistan, furniture makers in the Philippines, and one dude starting a pub in Bolivia. To date, I’ve been fully re-paid on 4 of the loans and partially on the rest.

The beauty of it is that it’s helping those without access to the monetary resources we have access to, build, create, and sustain themselves.

So for those of you looking to give the gift that literally keeps on giving head over to Kiva and start searching for farmers, bicycle makers, or fishermen (or women) to support.

Or maybe you should wait until later in the week because giveaway #3 is your very own $25 Kiva gift card. You get to choose who it goes to and help support a small business in a foreign country.

All you have to do is leave a comment below telling us what your favorite country outside the U.S. Ready, go.

Also, this giveaway shuts down Tuesday night at 11:59 CST so get your comments in ASAP!

Thanks to our bomb friends Chad & Becca Ward for the idea to put this in our gift guide. You can read about it in their post here.

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I'm an aspiring freelance writer and blogger (which doesn't make a ton of sense when you think about it). I started a blog called Our Marriage Project and one about OSU called Pistols Firing. I love both of them, and I love my wife. And I love Kevin Durant, Explosions in the Sky, Tim Riggins, Blue Moon ale, Twitter, and the state of Georgia.

23 thoughts on “Day 3 – The Kiva Giveaway”

  1. I live outside the US anyway so can I say the UK? lol. Then again I have friends who live in Australia so that could be a favourite. I also have a friend who is living in the UK for a year but he's from Liberia via Ghana. So I think any of them are my favourites!

  2. My favorite two countries are France and Uganda. I spent three summers living in Paris working with North African immigrants and I just love the soul of the people there! I love Uganda, even though I have yet to visit, because I have a heart for orphans and the people there.

  3. What a great idea! My favorite country outside the U.S. is Brazil. I just find it really intriguing and a very interesting culture. It's also the least Americanized place I've ever been (which may not be saying much, I've only been to a few countries), so that probably helps my perception of it.

  4. Outside of the US… being that I have never been outside of the US thats a hard one. My brain is telling me Brazil. They have so much going for them and being that they are the country who were the last to enter the recession and the first to break free from it. I give them props.

  5. I’d have to say Uganda. Besides the fact that it is the only non-North American country I’ve been to, Uganda is a beautiful place, and the people are crazy. Plus, it’s super cheap for an American to live there.

  6. I definitly wasted (well, only wasted in the eyes of my employer) a great deal of time on this Website. This is awesome! Selfishly: Italy or Greece. Absolutely gorgeous and awesome food. Religiously: Israel. If you ever get a chance, GO…changed my view of the Bible.

  7. Gotta say Ecuador. Went in 2002 and really enjoyed my time there. Now that i'm able to conversate in Spanish, I'd definitely like to go back!

    And, Tanzania — because of Mt. Kilimanjaro!

  8. My favorite is Israel. I spend two weeks touring there with classmates during my senior year. It is a beautiful country full of history and culture. We climbed Masada, floated in the Dead Sea, hiked to the cave where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, trooped all over Jerusalem, and saw the hill where Jesus was crucified. I left part of my heart there and I have always wanted to go back.

  9. the first country I visited (and only one so far) is Australia, and I LOVED it! However, I'm going to Haiti during spring break and I have a feeling that I am going to fall in love with that country as well.

    I've never heard of this organization but it sounds so awesome!

  10. After checking into this organization my boyfriend and I are very interested! Although after looking at the different people and business it is hard for us to decide how to choose a person to sponsor. Can you please share how you go about choosing?

    1. I don't know if this is right or wrong or whatever but we usually try to find a single mom who's working on her own business and sponsor her and her kids. We've sponsored others but single moms are our favorite to follow…

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