It never ceases to amaze me how many wonderful Shopkeepers we have in the CafePress Community. What I’m about to share really shows the meaning of Christmas, and will help people long after the holidays are over.
We have a group of Shopkeepers that wanted to give back this holiday by pooling small amounts of funds to support entrepreneurs through Kiva, a grassroots organization that provides micro-loans to people in developing countries trying to create businesses for sustenance. Meet Team Tee-ster who has so far donated over $400. While that barely buys an Espresso Machine for a Silicon Valley start-up, that amount makes a big impact for the people that KIVA supports. And these are business loans, not grants or hand-outs. Kiva has a default rate that is lower than our new gas prices–money lent today is ‘recycled’ many times over.
Team Tee-ster wants to make a big difference and would like to extend a challenge to other Shopkeepers in the Community.
“We, the members of ‘Team Tee-sters,’ are issuing a challenge to the CafePress Community. Will you join together to share the many blessings we receive? Sign up at Kiva, create a team (or several), pick another small business owner who shares our dream, and see if you can outraise us! (It is possible to donate less than the minimum required on the site if first collected offsite. IMHO no amount is too small.)”
Here is some information from the Kiva site:
The people you see on Kiva’s site are real individuals in need of funding in specific amounts for specific enterprises. When you browse entrepreneurs’ profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides toward economic independence and improving life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need
How it works:
1) Lenders like you browse profiles of entrepreneurs in need, and choose someone to lend to. When they lend, using PayPal or their credit cards, Kiva collects the funds and then passes them along to one of our microfinance partners worldwide.
2) Kiva’s microfinance partners distribute the loan funds to the selected entrepreneur. Often, our partners also provide training and other assistance to maximize the entrepreneur’s chances of success.
3) Over time, the entrepreneur repays their loan. Repayment and other updates are posted on Kiva and emailed to lenders who wish to receive them.
4) When lenders get their money back, they can re-lend to someone else in need, donate their funds to Kiva (to cover operational expenses), or withdraw their funds.
Here’s a team that has already accepted the challenge – Team Butterscotch Brigade – raising $350 in just 2 days! Way to go!
If you’re interested in this project, you can join a team or create your own team. Here are the teams we know of thus far: