– Loans that change lives – Loans that change lives

Public service announcement. Last spring I was introduced to by Bill Stevenson at Lenovo, the gentleman who manages the company’s social responsibility activities. Bill was passionate about Kiva — sort of the Napster of philanthropy and micro-finance. Here’s how it works. You go to, you open an account, you transfer $25 into your account, you review the loan applications from hundreds dozens of people in emerging markets, select one, and loan them the money

They pay you back, via Kiva, and once the loan is done, you get the money back in your account and then you can re-loan it to another entrepreneur.

Here’s who my loan is supporting, Lily Kindeka Biyela. She borrowed $1,000. I lent her $25

“Lily is 44 years old and a mother of two children, and she takes care of three others. Lily began her business in 1992. Over the years, Lily has acquired solid experience selling both kitchen utensils and charcoal. Through her determination and hard work, she has been able to build a loyal customer base that has begun to pre-order utensils. Lily is asking for a loan of $1000 to help increase her working capital and buy additional goods. This will enable her to generate additional profits, which will allow her business to grow and change.”

Lily has paid back half of my loan already. I think this is cool and regard Kiva as one of the most important web applications I have ever seen.

What I intend to be doing in two weeks …

News – Vineyard Gazette

Off to Martha’s Vineyard for ten days of fishing beginning 9.22 (with a one-day interruption to speak at an event in NYC).

“Opening day at the 2007 Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby was a smash, including the recording of a first day grand slam by Capt. Tom Langman of Menemsha likely a first day record. Derby president Ed Jerome said of the slam: “We don’t keep records for that but I don’t ever remember it happening on the first day. Certainly we’ve had one-day grand slams before but they are rare.””

The Derby is one of the most venerable fishing events in the world, and the subject of a great book that was recently republished, Reading the Water by the late Bob Post.

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