USA Today reports that Maria Shriver first approached Kiva.org after running the Women’s Conference she runs as first lady of California (Shriver is married to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger) and a program — WE invest — that grew out of the conference.
Like so many of us, Shriver looked at the outstanding success rates of microlending programs sponsored by Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, whose Grameen Bank makes microloans throughout the world, and asked “why not here in America?”
The loans in America are bigger than in developing countries. $25 doesn’t go far here in the U.S. But the Kiva.org website — now getting more traffic than the Red Cross — allows groups of people to sponsor American entrepreneurs.
A woman able to convince 400 $25 lenders to back her has suddenly raised $10,000 at a time when banks will lend her no money.
For more information, visit Kiva.org.