Sunday, December 7, 2008

Havin' big fun at Nutwood!

Today Ken made an entry about Kiva, a website that allows people to make loans to various entrepreneurs around the globe. Microfinancing has become a hot topic, and great things have been done to help people provide for their families and to begin the climb out of poverty. It's interesting that this came up today, because I read a letter to the editor in our local paper today that questioned President-Elect Obama's statement about growing the economy from the bottom up. The person wrote something like how the heck does that work?! Well, this is how it works, Bub. If people are able to get a loan to implement an idea for a small business, they can grow that business and improve their lives. What an elegant concept! A Bangladesh economist recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for his microfinancing enterprise.

These are loans, not donations, and the loan will be repaid. (Of course, we'll just put that repayment back into another loan.) Today Ken set up a Nutwood Junction team at Kiva, and it is open to all comers. You can contribute as little as $25, which goes towards the loan amount that people have requested. You can view all requests, by focus area and location, and see pictures of the people requesting the loans and what they want to use it for. Today I helped a lady in Peru reach her goal to buy coffee plants and plantain plants. Ken and I have been having a blast, and were joking about how it's you browse through all the requests, you want to help so many of them! We realize that we can't change the world, but we can make a difference in a person's life. Ken isn't sending out email invitations to any of our Spotter friends, because we don't want to be pushy. But our group is open to everyone, and if you'd like to be added, send either of us an email: or

There's a link to the Kiva site over on my sidebar, and it shows random entrepreneurs. I hope you'll take a moment to check it out, and consider joining Team Nutwood! Breaking news from Ken! In addition to my lady in Peru, two others he made a loan to (before he started Team Nutwood) have reached their loan goals! This is supercool.


  1. I am really looking forward to monitoring this over the long run. It is super cool.

  2. Hi Beth,
    Wow, what a concept ... can't believe I hadn't heard of this sooner!!

  3. the kiva concept is cool. it is frightening that the economy is so poor in some places that amounts under $500 can do so much.

    i am making donations to mental health helplines this year and hoping to still serve in a shelter or two over my upcoming break from work.

    go team nutwood!


  4. Very interesting Beth and very generous as well. There is an organization like this in our area - my husbands boss is one of the organizers so I know how a little $$$ can go such a long way outside of America. It is truly fascinating to think such a small amount can make such a difference. Kudos to you & Ken for spearheading this on Blogger - I'd like to be involved.

  5. My brother and sil have been on a couple of mission trips to Kenya. It's amazing the small amount of money that people live on! Their lives are so basic.. and we have such great wealth here in the US... looks like a worthwhile endeavor!


  6. I am a little confused with negotiating thru the web site ... how about I just mail y'all a Post Office money order, and let you make the donation for me?


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?