Tuesday, July 11, 2006

KIVA: Social investing

It is still early days for my KIVA trial - the amount of exposure I can afford will be depend on the default rate but ideally I would like to be able to channel all subscription revenue through a program like KIVA's and let recipients of the money pay for the member's subscription. It would be a 'double' use of the money: [1] for the entrepreneur's business and [2] the membership subscription.

Partnering with a title blog sponsor who could match contributions would increase the viability of this blog. How would this work?

[1] Sponsor matches contribution of members subscribing to www.blog.fallondpicks.com
[2] This contribution is channeled through Fallond Stock Picks Inc into KIVA's program (i.e. KIVA repayments are used to pay for sponsors advertising)
[3] The sponsor receives web site advertising (just as they would if paying directly for it) for the length of time they decide to support my site.
[4] KIVA loan recipients pay for the sponsoring advertising.
[5] Depending on the needs of the business, excess money could be cycled within the KIVA system and withdrawn as needed.

Some interesting pros and cons of KIVA's model were raised in an article by John Johnson. His chief concern was:

Kiva still has a way to go. As of the writing of this post they have not added the important function of showing the different interest rates of the local lending institutions that receive Kiva's loans and vet the entrepreneur recipients. This important feature would allow you to factor in which microlender was giving the most competitive interest rate to the person you want to help. It would allow Kiva to reform local lending practices (and not just bank-to-microlender) by making sure the 0% interest is reflected in lower interest rates from the microlender to the entrepreneur.

KIVA looks to be an early adopter of this form of "investing" and it will be fun to watch how this space develops over time. From a personal perspective, I am interested in seeing how I can help other small businesses while generating revenue to run my own business. Hopefully, I can raise the contribution and perhaps encourage others to adopt a similar strategy - who knows, maybe it will help increase sales of my newsletter :)