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More alternative models of tackling poverty

A couple of interesting links illustrating alternative ways to address poverty and development issues:

Kiva. Kiva “lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on our website and then lending money online to that enterprise, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive monthly email updates that let you know about the progress being made by the small business you’ve sponsored. These updates include reports on loan repayment progress, photos of new capital equipment, narratives on business growth and standard of living improvements, and more. As loans are repaid, you will get your original loan money back.” I wonder if this idea can be pitched to folks in the diaspora who want to give back/assist (Hat tip Paul!)

Technoserve: Business solutions to rural poverty

Acumen Fund: Acumen Fund operates like a venture capital firm for the poor, providing resources, both financial – in the form of loans, equity investments and occasional grants – and intellectual capital

Barefoot College: The Barefoot College began in 1972 with the conviction that solutions to rural problems lie within the community.The College addresses problems of drinking water, girl education, health & sanitation, rural unemployment, income generation, electricity and power, as well as social awareness and the conservation of ecological systems in rural communities. The College benefits the poorest of the poor who have no alternatives. The College encourages practical knowledge and skills rather than paper qualifications through a learning by doing process of education.

8 comments to More alternative models of tackling poverty

  • lilalia

    Please go and read today’s article in the NYT and spread the important news:

    “Pierre M. Omidyar, the founder of eBay, and his wife, Pamela, gave $100 million to Tufts University this week, with some unusual strings attached.
    The gift, the largest Tufts has ever received, must be invested in organizations that make small loans to poor people in developing countries, a field known as microfinance. Further, Tufts may use only half the income from the investments for itself; the rest must be reinvested in microfinance.“
    Link to full article:


    It would be important for organisations such as in this posting to try and receive support for the business and educational programs they are doing.

    Good luck!

    P.S. Sorry, I placed this comment in the wrong posting below.

    Thanks for this!

  • Rich

    Good resources to explore. I am curious what their interest rates are. The repayment time seems too short for most small scale business in Kenya where cash-flow is a big problem. While these microfinance structures seem(potray) to have good intention, it seems to me like it could be another banking niche [with interests higher thanin the USA]. Do they pay taxes or are they exempt as NGOs?

  • Steve G

    My wife and I are purchasing a two acre farm near the Rift Valley for a family we have supported since 1990. The purchase is being supervised by the Christian Children’s Fund. My question is…. is two acres enough to lift this family out of poverty? What other type of support should we be providing? 😀

  • For Africa to crawl out of poverty, good governance must first all be realized. Otherwise all the efforts being done by different organisations will not achieve anything in the presence of dictators and corrupt leaders. On a positive note, it is important to point out that some countries (Botswana, Mozambique) are doing well in the area of good governance.

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