Ever since Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for proving the fiscal viability of lending money to the poor, are the on line counterparts just as effective?
By: Vanessa Uy
My grandfather’s present financially secure status was due to some big-hearted soul who took a chance by lending him some money as capital for a business start-up. This is just one of the success stories/testimonials that extol the virtues of money lending. But more often than not: Does it help more than it hurts? When Mohamad Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his “Banking for the Poor” program. Many of the urban poor in the slums of Bangladesh were very grateful for receiving the much needed start-up money / small business loan, thus getting them out of “the red.”
On the web, you can do your own DIY banking with the help of “Zopa.com.” This is one of the pioneering on line money lending sites, which started operating in England that lends money that is payable on the client’s own terms. A myriad of testimonials on Zopa’s website already professed that they benefited Zopa’s easy to pay terms. Since then, Zopa probably served as a vital lifeline to the majority of England’s “blue collar” population. Despite the risks of phishing, ID theft, and the proliferation of illegal key logging software that continually compromises on line security or just due to the relative lawlessness of the world wide web. “Zopa.com” still manages to provide material gains to their investors while offering a helping hand to those in need of extra cash. James Alexander CEO of Zopa says that his company has enough safeguards to minimize the risks.
If you want to help someone in a poor country to start his or her own enterprise, you should check out Kiva. Kiva is an on line social money lending site that allows you to sponsor an entrepreneur from a third-world country for as little as US$25. What I liked very much about Kiva is that they have a very good “transparency factor.” Thousands of charity cases, which have passed Kiva’s evaluation, are listed on their website. The short video clips contain individual business proposals. If you choose to invest, the maturation period of the loans are usually 6 to 12 months. And you, the investor are contacted via e-mail on your investment’s progress. One of Kiva’s success stories is Angel, a bicycle repairman from Rome, Bulgaria. Angel got booted out of the local bicycle repair shop in which he was previously employed due to “financial restructuring.” With Kiva’s helping hand, Angel now runs his own bicycle repair shop. With additional investments, you can help him expand his business and help to lessen the unemployment problem of his hometown.