By Kimberly Porrazzo

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Women helping women through KIVA

I was so excited when I received the following announcement from KIVA in my inbox this morning! The loan I helped fund for a woman business owner in Mongolia has been fully repaid.


I was introduced to KIVA through another OC METRO blogger, Albert Ornelas (OC Latino Movers & Shakers). KIVA is a micro lender that serves as the middleman for funding business loans to economically challenged entrepreneurs. When I first went to the KIVA site I was moved by the need. There was the widow with several children in Vietnam who was in need of money to buy rice for her rice farm. There was another in Africa who was selling trinkets on the street and needed money to buy inventory. As hard as it is to run a business here in this country (and especially in California, with all the regulations), imagine having to do so with so few resources at hand. It was so hard to select just one to support.

I opted to help fund the loan of 54-year-old Battumur Ayurzana — I think because we are the same age and she is the mother of grown children, including a son. (She lives in a tent in his backyard!) Battumur needed $250 to buy felt so that she could make the traditional boots she sells. I had the privilege of being the final lender (I loaned a grand total of $25!) that fully funded her loan. Over the course of the past year, she has made monthly payments, and today I got notice that the loan is fully repaid. I have my $25 back and, as KIVA hopes all lenders will do, I plan to select another entrepreneur to help fund.

KIVA, which in the past has focused on entrepreneurs in impoverished countries has, to its credit, created a funding program here in the U.S., specifically in the economically depressed state of Detroit. I will start there, searching for a female entrepreneur to support and will celebrate her success as well.

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