We have decided, as a family, to set aside $1 from every sale at The Busy Mom Boutique to use towards supporting mom-entrepreneurs in developing countries through a Kiva loan. The mission for this site has always been to support moms in business by promoting and selling their mom-invented products. Now we have decided that the profit that we make through this site can also help moms in less fortunate, developing countries, to make their dreams a reality and play a role in the battle against poverty.
Kiva loans are typically made in $25 increments towards a borrowers goal, so we will lend after every 25 sales that we make. Please feel free to follow our blog to keep up-to-date on our loans and the mom entrepreneurs that you are helping to support as a customer!
What is Kiva? A non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
What is Microfinance? A general term to describe financial services to low-income individuals or to those who do not have access to typical banking services. Microfinance is also the idea that low-income individuals are capable of lifting themselves out of poverty if given access to financial services. While some studies indicate that microfinance can play a role in the battle against poverty, it is also recognized that is not always the appropriate method, and that it should never be seen as the only tool for ending poverty.
Microfinance Can Be a Good Tool For Empowering Women:
"Microfinance programs have generally targeted poor women. By providing access to financial services only through women-making women responsible for loans, ensuring repayment through women, maintaining savings accounts for women, providing insurance coverage through women-microfinance programs send a strong message to households as well as to communities.
Many qualitative and quantitative studies have documented how access to financial services has improved the status of women within the family and the community. Women have become more assertive and confident. In regions where women's mobility is strictly regulated, women have become more visible and are better able to negotiate the public sphere. Women own assets, including land and housing, and play a stronger role in decision making.
In some programs that have been active over many years, there are even reports of declining levels of violence against women." (http://cgap.org)