Another little gem I just came across. PayPal has a subsidiary “Microplace” (www.microplace.com) for micro businesses loans. (I assume this is a bit of a play on “marketplace” from the “eBay Marketplaces” business.) It allows you to invest money where the money is used as a low interest loan to help less fortunate individuals get themselves on their feet.
“Nicaraguan seamstress Maria Moreno was just 28 when a $28 loan changed her life. She and her family were barely getting by in a sheet metal house. Then Hurricane Mitch struck. Seeing her kids standing in knee-high water reinforced the vulnerability Maria felt. She gathered her courage and borrowed money for a sewing machine. As her business grew, Maria was able to transform the family’s one-room shack into a multi-room home. Now she plans to expand her sewing workshop so she can hire workers. And after 10 years, her dream for education and professional careers for her children is within reach.”
A $28 loan that can significantly change someone’s life in a positive way. And this is not a donation – you normally get the money back with interest. Nice!