One Step Checkout corp. is certainly not Bill Gates. But even as a small medium-sized company in the ecommerce industry we think it makes sense to lend a hand to others in the commerce industry in the developing world. At One Step Checkout we allocate some of our proceeds to microfinance projects, in cooperation with KIVA, the world’s first peer-to-peer micro-lending website.
What is KIVA?
Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.
Kiva was born of the following beliefs:
- People are by nature generous, and will help others if given the opportunity to do so in a transparent, accountable way.
- The poor are highly motivated and can be very successful when given an opportunity.
- By connecting people we can create relationships beyond financial transactions, and build a global community expressing support and encouragement of one another.
- Dignity: Kiva encourages partnership relationships as opposed to benefactor relationships. Partnership relationships are characterized by mutual dignity and respect.
- Accountability: Loans encourage more accountability than donations where repayment is not expected.
- Transparency: The Kiva website is an open platform where communication can flow freely around the world.
Kiva democratizes philanthropy, allowing the average individuals building a portfolio of microloans in businesses around the globe.
As of November 2009, Kiva has facilitated over $100 million in loans.
One Step Checkout has just started lending. As of January 2010 we have some 20 loans, but if our business goes as expected we should have some 200 loans by the end of 2010.