Just in case you haven’t heard of Kiva. It is an organization that connects individual lenders to individual entrepreneurs in the developing world and beyond. It is the essence of microlending championed so effectively in Bangladesh. Where Kiva differs is its ability to remove local banking structures from the equation and indeed focus on international lenders, thereby increading the capital pool dramatically.
These is not charity. These loans are repaid over time. I have received 20% of my original loan back within three weeks. That is a zippy repayment rate by anyone’ standards.
The minimum loan is $25 (via Paypal or credit card). Everything is very transparent. In fact, supply is outstripping demand in this respect. Often I visit the site to see that there are more lenders than recipients.
Each entrepreneur has a photo and biography and a statement of their business plan. Highly recommended.