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.