Past Posts

September 2010
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Microlending for small businesses

Do the following two paragraphs grab your interest? Well it did mine! Resourcefulness for this small business owner paid off! The link to the entire story is at the end! Enjoy and learn!

How did you hatch the idea to do microlending?

Am I going to get one person to give me $5,000? Probably not. I had already known about microlending as a concept from Kiva. Microlending is so interesting because it’s an actual investment. The levels that people could participate at were $50, $100, $500 and $1,000. To borrow $50 from 100 people would have been a nightmare in terms of paying interest and keeping track of it. That’s where the idea for gift cards came into effect. The gift card is worth more than they bought it for. At $50, it’s worth $55. At $100, they get 15 percent interest, so it’s worth $115. The trade off is that they can’t use it until December. For the larger amounts, it’s a traditional loan and repayment at 10 percent interest starting in December with payback over six months.

What was the response?
I did it through PayPal so people could just click a button. Within five minutes of sending the newsletter out, someone had given me $1,000. Two days later, I had already met our goal. It was incredibly positive. It was everyone coming together, understanding the situation and offering their support. A lot of customers who weren’t in a position to do this came in and bought tea, which helped.

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