Archive for the ‘microcredit online’ Category

Why Kiva is a better option

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

I will let the figures speak:

1705 Repaid loans
1220 Defaulted loans (not sure if this includes Ebony);

So we have a very high percentage of defaults 41.70%

74486 Paid Back
3369 Ended with Loss (many of which are Ebony)
4.3%  defaults/ended with loss

Obviously, given the data, Kiva is a much better (and simplier) option.

I have just made some more loans on Kiva – my updated lender page is here


United Prosperity: an Interesting Concept

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

I have just finished my second round of guarantees at united prosperity the concept is very interesting and I do like the no minimum to start a guarantee. I think that the guarantee vs. loan can have some relevant benefits. I also think that in India this is the only possible way to participate in the microfinance market as foreign loans are usually not allowed. As this is a new platform it would be very interesting to know how it develops!


Kiva Disappointment

Friday, June 19th, 2009

I have just received a message from this Kiva group and after checking the Kiva forum and I tend to agree with Ashley “Check this one out. I’m genuinely concerned about this woman I mean, what is she going to do without an outsdoor storage shed?!”

I have always been a firm supporter of Kiva and I introduced their case study to my classes. This is a disappointment. Microfinance, in my opinion, has to stay “micro” and relevant to these under served countries that need it the most. I perfectly understand that many families in the US are navigating in turbulent waters but this is certainly not a good reason to use microfinance – in the case of kiva free credit – to finance 5000-10,000+ $ loans. There are a good deal of peer to peer lending platforms like zopa and many other opportunities for Americans or British lenders.  Very little, if any, for people in Samoa, Cambodia etc.

Additionally, some MFI institutions complained that Kiva does restrict their projects: they can only post small loans of less than 500$. This is completely fine but why then open US loans to these “jumbo” loans ? If Kiva wanted to do something in the US it should have focused in entrepreneurial micro projects for the needy and not these type of loans.

Gladly I am doing my with direct microfinance initiatives and trying something out with myc4 too.


Kiva is the winner

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

As you might know in the past few months I have been trying both myc4 and Kiva. The situation on myc4 is somehow confusing to me. For instance here the MFI in question tried to explain some of the issue with out of the ordinary projects (DJ’s in africa asking 10,000 Euro plus each for identical needs, farming projects with the identical cow on the background) but to me the explanations are not plausible. (more…)


myc4 testimonial

Monday, March 30th, 2009

I am happy to share this interesting testimonial from myc4 beneficiaries in Uganda. Personally I have found many of their investment opportunities in Uganda to be noteworthy. Ever wondered how an investment (as little as 5€) impacts someone? In the video you can see this example and others.


Can Kiva cope with the demand ?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

As per my previous post it looks like Kiva is having some troubles in coping with demand.  This article confirms their plan to launch micro loans in the U.S.

In some recent enquiries I have discovered that some MFIs are not entirely pleased with Kiva’s system. Why so if the money is lent at 0% interest rate?



MYC4 experiment

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

To continue my experiment I have made the following five bids on

I) Godfry, Mechanical Services, Uganda
II) Tropical Diagnostic, Ghana

III)Annet, Veterinary Shop, Uganda
IV) Joyce, Retail Store, Uganda
V) Asuma, Tailoring, Uganda

Feel free to click on the links to see the whole project.

On MyC4 you act as a real microlender meaning:



Not enough loans on Kiva?

Friday, March 20th, 2009

I was just browsing Kiva and only last night I have encountered a message confirming that every loan on the site has been funded. This is excellent – but perhaps it would be better to host a much larger amount of loans. In contrast, the portal babyloan seems to have many unfunded loans and a much smaller turnover. It is a French initiative and has a similar model to the one of Kiva. Loans can be re-used and there is a small donation of 1 Euro every 100 Euro loaned to finance their operations. The total loans handled by babyloan are slightly less than 150,000 Euro – very small if compared to the over 64 million of Kiva.The platform is kivasimilar but it looks like the English version is not yet as complete (e.g. the blog is solely in French). They could probably fetch more donors with a simple api to syndicate loans through partner sites – this should be really easy to implement and I feel that bloggers and twitters would play a great role in spreading the word.

I am wondering if the current online loan portals are really up to the growing appetite for social loans. Beside Kiva and Microplace (an Ebay subsidiary where you actually earn interest on the money you lend) all the others I have currently reviewed are not there yet. Their platform is often incomplete – one of the great ideas of kiva is offering borrowers updates, groups and much more.

It would be nice to create something useful for companies and educational institutions to “match” loans with their own funds – and/or to be more interesting to investors. Once again microfinance shouldn’t be confused with charity or a donation – at the very leads lenders should be able to receive their money back without interest and loan them to other micro entrepreneurs. All the other portals that consider loans donations (e.g. wokai)are really not as interesting.