I wrote this article for Travel Culture Mag.
Mircofinancing and mircolending are relatively new concepts. They emerged as possible solutions for very poor regions, communities and individuals to acquire the necessary funding for businesses from crowds, as opposed to just one or two financiers.
It’s a way to not only interact with someone whose existence, not to mention a potential for success, or for doing something for their community depends on your generosity, but also become more aware of different lifestyles elsewhere.
Only a little bit of capital is required to help them get going, so little in fact, that it’s incredible to believe that for the equivalent of your monthly morning Starbucks coffee can help someone achieve their dream.
The shifts that these people are able to do with this startup capital, which they agree to pay off once their business starts generating profit, not only serves them personally and their immediate family, but often an entire community.
These examples include farmers, produce vendors, pharmacists, teachers, tailors, carpenters, welders, plumbers, etc.
Different from traditional donations and charities, this approach allows those people to not only save their dignity, but also have control of their lives.
The stories that you get to participate when you decide to donate are not desolate, forlorn stories. They are stories of ambition, initiative, and hope.
All kinds of projects get crowdfunded and, unfortunately, what we are seeing in the developed world, through casual observation, is that the projects that get funded the most are projects for products, innovative products, but nonetheless, products that are not of incredible necessity or importance in the grand scheme of things. Because we are, after all, a consumerist society.
Contributing to a business elsewhere creates a more integrative, a more understandable global community. I have seen people choose projects and borrowers based on the story that touches them, or based on personal interest, a place they have been to and have a sense of attachment to, or a place that they would like to visit some day. And imagine really visiting this place some time in the future, and finding the person who you lent the money to or the community which you’ve contributed to.
Never doubt that small, individual, progressive steps matter. Indeed, that’s where it starts, that’s how it accumulates, and that’s how it grows. We, as individuals in this wide world, would be nothing without the power of our communities, of joint energies, of our potentials as a collaborative, interactive society. And that is the same way that microlanding works.
There are people from 200 countries (and autonomous regions) that are participating in the system, so virtually the whole world in your palm.
TravelCultureMag lending team is at Kiva.org, please consider registering and browsing the projects, maybe some of them will spark your interest.