Friday, December 28, 2007
I really love these photos (click to enlarge), and their stories below.
The top photo is Ms. Chantal Dolou from Togo.
The bottom photo is Mr. Allahverdy Kuliyev from Azerbaijan.
I met them through a Christmas gift I received last year. It was a gift certificate allowing me to invest the value of the gift in loans to small, independent entrepreneurs working with the organization, Kiva.
Kiva lets you lend to specific entrepreneurs in the developing world - empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty. If you like, you get to follow the stories of these entrepreneurs and track their repayment rates. When the loans are repaid, Kiva gives you the opportunity of investing that money in other entrepreneurs.
Loan requests are small by the standards of the developed world. You can sort through Kiva's introductions to aspiring entrepreneurs on their web site. After choosing one or more, you apply the amounts you wish to loan. Your loans are aggregated with those from other Kiva sponsors. When the requested loan amount is achieved, the loan is distributed to the entrepreneur.
I've posted the stories about the entrepreneurs I chose below. I especially like the photo of Ms. Chantal Dolou. I would take Ms. Dolou to any business meeting on any continent and feel confident she would succeed. I know that look. Mr. Allahverdy has a wonderful story that engaged me immediately.
The best part of that Christmas present is the news 1 year later, that both loans are nearly 100% repaid. I will soon get to look for more great stories and wonderful ideas to support. A gift of entrepreneurship that keeps on giving!
I believe Kiva is providing the world with a great service. Like all true entrepreneurs, they have found a problem and are helping fix it. In Kiva's case, the execution of that fix is very well done.
There are many other great organizations worldwide working on micro entrepreneurship and micro finance. I'm in contact with some and receive newsletters from many. I will put up posts about these in the future.
Let's also remember that there are many micro entrepreneurs among us here. In fact, they/we are everywhere.
When you make your choices for all manner of decisions, choose to support the innovators. Choose to support hard work, diligence, vigilance, and courage.
The renaissance age of entrepreneurship is here, and it's just beginning - around the world and, hopefully, around your kitchen table.
Ms. Chantal Dolou. Ms. DOLOU, born in 1972 in Gbodjomé in the Prefecture des Lacs in southwest Togo, is single with two (02) children and one sister in her care. She comes from a very poor family and did not have the chance to pursue thorough studies. She became involved then, by her own means, in the trade of basic need food products. To strengthen her business, she benefitted from a loan of $350, which she managed well and repaid without incident. Today, this business continues to grow and necessitates increased loan capital which is unavailable.
Mr. Allahverdy Kuliyev. Allahverdy Kuliyev has been engaged in this business since 2003. Before he rented this tea-house. Having borrowed the loan amount of $400 he bought tea-pots, chairs, tables and this tea-house. He has a lot of clients. His tea-house is a small and he wants to expand the area of his place. All in Absheron region talk about the taste of his tea. Clients have rest over a traditional cup of refreshing Azerbaijani tea in his tea-house. His tea help to people to forget about their problems. He supports to his family with this business. He is 52, married, has 3 children,