When I wrote Beach Money, I knew I wanted to use the profits for some good in the world. My friend Ines Kinchen told me about the organization Kiva.org that provides microloans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. This was perfectly aligned with my mission and consistent with my entrepreneurial values.
My friend and financial planner, Kim Butler, taught me this principle: money feeds the economy, bringing life to it just like blood brings life to the cells in the human body. What happens if we stop moving our bodies? We begin to decay. Movement keeps us healthy by bringing oxygen to the cells. What happens when we become too sedentary? We begin to die. The same holds true in the economy. When money is flowing, the economy is healthy. When money stops flowing or is being held on too tightly because of fear, the economy begins to decay.
This concept applies to our personal economy, our family, our community, and even our world. Countries that abundantly trade commerce with each other remain healthy and vibrant. Growth happens when money is in motion.
I saw my involvement with Kiva as a way to feed local economies and help bring life to some otherwise stagnant or weak communities.
All around the world there are individuals and families who want to start businesses but don’t have the funding to get them off the ground.
Learning more about Kiva I discovered beautiful, resourceful people all over the world who needed small loans to set up businesses that would bring life to their communities. For example, Alfredo from Peru needs $2,800 to stock up on Alpaca wool; Petronila from Kenya needs $300 to buy tomatoes and potatoes to sell; Zonia from El Salvador is looking for $200 so she can buy fresh cheese, pork cracklings, cabbage, condiments, and other items for her store.
Over 99 percent of the loans are paid back and can be re-loaned by the lender, who can loan as little as $25 to fund a percentage of a requested amount. The borrowers aren’t looking for a handout or for pity; these are people who want to contribute and be productive members of their societies.
To date, Beach Money has loaned approximately $200,000 and continues to add $5,000 to $20,000 a month in loans through online sales. In 2012, Kiva.org reached out to let us know we were the number one contributor out of 860,000 lenders.
I encourage you to go check out Kiva.org and make a simple loan. Think about the impact your contribution is having not just on that little family but on the community they live in and on our planet. And thank you for buying, reading, and passing Beach Money along to others. Your enthusiasm for the book is helping to do good in the world.
JORDAN ADLER is a bestselling author, a top earner in his network marketing company, and a board member of the ANMP. Support his cause at www.Kiva.org.