I mostly keep my writings focused on HR, Management, People and Technology, but from time to time I have the urge to write about larger issues – ways in which we can make a difference.
Some of you might have heard about Kiva – an organization founded by a passionate couple which allows people to lend money via the internet to fund microfinance institutions in developing countries, which in turn lend money to people in need of funds for small businesses. I simply loved the idea, but was a bit disappointed that they have not yet been able to develop this model strongly for India.
In comes Rang De, which makes a bold attempt to recreate the model in the Indian context. Here is a quick link from their website on what really is micro-credit. So, the concept is dead simple. Rang De puts up profiles of needy people on their site with details about the business they want to start. The business plans are simple – tea-kiosk, grocery store, weaving business, cattle rearing etc. Next, people like you & me review these profiles and provide the funds for these businesses. You can start with as low as Rs. 100 (USD 2). The micro-credit agencies collect all the funds and disburse them to the people, who then pay the money back to you in equal monthly installments (current repayment rate is 99% !!!). And yes, you earn a nominal 2% interest on your social investment. So, this is no donation, it is an investment. This is our opportunity to become social investors and earn much more than interest on our investments – an opportunity to change lives.
And, it’s all doable at the click of a button, without paperwork. So, whatever the occasion, rise up to it in a meaningful way – whether its birthdays, anniversaries, pay days, celebration of victory, festivals or simply a day when you feel passionate about doing something good. Support someone and let’s share better.