In August I attended a simulcast of The Leadership Summit presented out of Willow Creek Community Church (www.willowcreek.com/Events/Leadership/2009/) up near Chicago IL.
One of the main speakers was Jessica Jackley, a powerhouse of a speaker. She is one of the founders of Kiva, a microlending company (www.kiva.org).
Kiva takes contributions and then makes microloans to entrepreneurs around the world. It’s a great organization that is helping a large number of people. it’s amazing how little it takes to start a biz in a third world country. Little for us that is. 25 bucks is a lot of money for them.
I went on the site and followed my passion for coffee. I found two women who are running small breakfast stands and providing coffee and other breakfast staples near busy city centers. One of them is in Nicaragua and the other in Bolivia. I loaned $25 to each.
I received an e-mail the other day from Kiva. Both women have started repaying the loans.
I highly suggest checking it out. Find a way to loan some money that will follow your passion. Use this to teach your kids about philanthropy. There are a million ways to loan money and make traction with it.