Even though it looks like we will not make our goal of helping to fund 45 small business entrepreneurs in developing countries through Kiva, we are proud to say that we made it to 42! One of our first loans of 2012, to help Julio grow his family bakery business in Peru, has been paid in full, so we have relended the money to Merlinda, who sells fruit in the Philippines:
Merlinda is a widow with five children who has a fruit stand and, with the loan from Kiva lenders, will be able to meet her goal of expanding her product offering and growing her business to help improve her family’s living conditions.
We may find out how Merlinda’s business fares — one cool thing that Kiva does is to provide updates on some of their borrowers. When you loan money through Kiva, you get a Portfolio that shows your borrowers, repayments, etc., and you might get an e-mail from time to time with an update that shows on your Portfolio page under the heading “Recent Updates for My Loans”. The most recent ones we received were for Paula and Rasif, two of the small business entrepreneurs to whom we loaned funds. We especially liked the one for Rasif.