PPig: Welcome, Directors, to cousin Portly’s Lunch Counter. Yep, no mahogany conference table plundered from the forests of Borneo for us! And Portly said we could meet here after he closed if we bussed our own coffee cups. He even left us a pie for later.
Is everybody here?
Paula and Spoke?
That’s all the members so far of our Kiva Investment Group. Of course, as you may know, we encourage everyone to join our exclusive group. Just invest in a Kiva businessperson or two (by clicking on the box in the upper right corner), and email me me your Kiva Member Page Link. A Member Page looks like this, for example.
Now, let’s get down to business.
I have been tallying our member lists and find that between the eleven of us we are partnering with seventy-five micro-entrepreneurs in eighteen different countries.
Group: Clap clap clap! Hooray! Let’s adjourn! Cut the pie!
PPig: Keep your mitts off that pie! Folks, our micro-entrepreneurs are starting or expanding grass roots businesses in some of the poorest countries in the world. We’re giving them a chance to succeed on their own terms without any charity.
Oh, I know a lot of us are just going to loan out our money again after we get paid back. No one’s trying to make a profit. We just think, “Hey, twenty-five bucks! I’ll spend more than that if I take the Pondering Pig out to lunch! And it’ll really make a difference to these Kiva guys.”
Leo: Gee, we could give out bumper stickers. Invest in Kiva…or take the Pondering Pig out to lunch!
PPig: Hmmph! May I continue? Our partners’ two most popular businesses are selling clothes and running little grocery stores. In fact, nineteen of our seventy-five businesses are in those two areas. Mostly, people run the businesses right out of their home or have a little stall in the marketplace. Building up their inventory is the number one reason for wanting a loan.
Ramon: Yeah, but we invest in all kinds of other businesses too. Besides retail, we have a blacksmith in Ecuador, a guy in Azerbaijan who raises sheep, a Bulgarian beekeeper, a lady in Kenya who sews embroidered seat covers (a big seller), and a furniture maker in Mexico. In Nicaragua, we’ve even invested in a cyber cafe .
Loryjean: I like my tomato lady in Togo. Her name is Ms. Houégnamétor Adjogble.
Julia: And I like my three tailors in Afghanistan, like Nafesa Gul Dad.
Hannah: Don’t forget my beautician in Senegal, Fatou Kine Niang!
PPig: OK OK, we are investing in really cool people, and it’s great to see them taking their destiny into their own hands. My question is…how are their loan repayments coming?
Tomorrow: Do KIVA Borrowers Repay Their Loans? KIG’s Experience. Plus All Kind of Other Interesting Stuff. Plus Pie All Round.
Photo – Portly’s Lunch Counter: Patrushka
Photo – Fatou Kine Niang: Kiva