By Catalina Benavides
First off, what is microfiancing? According to Kiva, a microfinancing company, microfinancing is “a term used to describe financial services, such as loans, savings, insurance and fund transfers to entrepreneurs, small businesses and individuals who lack access to traditional banking services.” The idea is that with a small loan, a much greater revenue can be produced after a small business is set up and the loan is repaid back.
Who can benefit from microfinance? Anyone, but mainly the most impoverished, which are usually women in third world countries. This business concept has been able to help women all around the world become independent business owners, and has economically developed their communities. So how much does one woman need? $320. And with that amount, which might seem small to most Americans, materials can be bought and the business can be set up. So how far does the impact of $320 go? Further than you think. Not only is the economic development in the community, usually one ridden by poverty, and great for the community, but it is great for all women. These women are living in a culture where the man is usually the one to be the provider and forces them into a subservient position. These women are able to feed their families and themselves. They are also able to hold on to their culture and use it to create a business, which may range from tapestries to jewelry making to selling food. The success of one woman can slowly become the success of many women. As they create a business community that supports one another, more mothers are able to save and send their daughters off to school in order to receive an education. So before you go to Starbucks every day for a month and spend an estimate of $10 a visit, reconsider that end of the month expense that would be worth $320. That money could potentially change another woman’s life forever if it were donated to a micro financing organization like Kiva.