I’m not sure if we had a quorum or not, but a bunch of KIGsters showed up and we threw around some ideas and it was a good thing. Here’s what we said:
Everybody present agreed it would be cool to fund Kiva borrowers as a group in addition to our private investments. Two ideas came out about how to do it.
1. We agree on one entrepreneur (at a time) and then, as Paula put it, we all “just madly fund that person.” Simple, clean and we retain our independent investor status.
2. We establish a KIG Paypal account. Everybody puts what they want in the account and we fund our people as the Kiva Investment Group. We could completely fund one loan or diversify and loan as a group to many borrowers just as we do now. I found a group that is already working this way – there are probably others too.
If we go with Idea 2, Ari suggested when a loan is repaid we donate the money directly to Kiva. Makes sense to me: good to do, a substantial donation to a great organization, and it would vastly simplify our bookkeeping.
Ramon wants us to invest with our minds as well as our hearts. He thinks we should pick businesses that have a chance of succeeding, and presented some simple principles to help us do that. Leo pointed out it might be hard to apply principles that make sense in the developed world to a country as culturally different as Togo.
Pig suggested we focus on people who are having trouble raising loans – and, if a business that’s not getting any bites looks sound, take it on as a group. We could use our combined muscle to help the losers not be losers. He doesn’t think this needs to violate Ramon’s business principles. Greg and Julia agreed. (Notetaker Pig adds: We would be doing something as a group that’s different from how we invest individually, and using our group power to fund viable businesses that can’t get funding. We’d be like a mini-Kiva inside Kiva.)
I think that’s it. Any additions or corrections? New ideas?
Labels: Kiva Investment Group