Absolutely amazing. Middle class folks in the U.S. can type their credit card number into a website and give a $100 or $500 or $50 or whatever-dollar loan to someone in Uganda or some such place. And on the other side of the ocean, people are able to buy stuff that helps them make a living, like tools and stoves. And the lenders can track the actual businesses they support. Like, you can e-mail them and stuff.
One of the lenders, who started off with something like $100, said:
There’s something about the tangibility of this compared to a straight donation. I’m helping to buy a bicycle or a chicken farm or a taxi, and I’m helping to expand something that already exists. That to me felt like -- if I don’t get my money back, great, it’s a donation. But if I do, I can reloan the money to someone else. And I can actually feel like a little Bill Gates Foundation or Rockefeller Foundation in my own way.
Allie and I were so inspired we grabbed our laptops and Googled the company. But apparently a bunch of other people got the same idea, because the website is down.
This is a good thing, I think -- the website overload, that is. Just so long as the other Googlers out there are motivated to keep trying, like Allie and I are. We're damn sure going to make a loan or two.