Opportunity International

Micro-financing is quite the rage in international circles for one very amazing fact. The payback rate on tiny loans to the workers in developing countries is greater than the payback rate for large loans to their home countries. In other words, from an outright profit perspective, you are better off loaning money to a Bolivian peasant than to the Bolivian government. Furthermore, there is now no doubt that Bolivia itself, and any other country, is much better off if investment goes directly to their poorest citizens than to the government. Several non-profits, starting with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, have pioneered micro-credit loans on a large scale and for large investors. I’ve found the easiest way for a helpful citizen to contribute funds to a wide variety of micro-loan programs in different parts of the world is through Opportunity International. Opportunity International has been providing micro loans for 30 years, even before the term microcredit was coined. They work through Trust Banks, groups of 20-30 (mostly women) borrowers who meet weekly for encouragement and to cross-guarantee the loans.

-- KK