Thursday, August 14, 2008


It's been a little over a year since we discovered Kiva and began lending money to finance microloans in developing countries. Since we began, our initial loans have been repaid and the money reloaned at least once, so that the amount we have loaned is more than double our original investment. Out of 78 total loans, only one has defaulted.

In today's email, we received an update on one of our loans, to Rita Basnet in Nepal. It tickled me so that I decided to post it. Check it out - what an entrepreneur.

"After taking her first loan, Ms. Bashnet purchased her first cow. After setting aside enough money from her milk sales, she took advantage of an NGO subsidy that allowed her to install and operate a simple methane gas tank on her property. This tank stores gas released during the decomposition of cow manure and can be used in her home and excess is sold to others in her village. As Kathmandu continues to face long-term gas shortages, Ms. Bashnet has not only met the needs of her family but can make a substantial profit at the same time.

"With the profits from this operation, she contributed to the purchase of a small van for her husband. He now drives the van along one of Kathmandu’s many public transportation routes. This additional cash income has allowed Ms. Bashet and her family to build a new home on her property.

"With this most recent loan, Ms. Bashnt purchased a high-yield jersey cow that is now giving up to 22 liters of milk per day. At about USD $0.50 per liter, she’s able to even further contribute to the income of her family.

"From her first loan, Ms. Bashet has now purchased 2 cows, a small van, met her energy needs, and begun construction on a new home. On the day I met with her, I tasted some of her fresh milk--heated using gas from the same cow--and tried one of her cucumbers on the roof of her new home.

"Ms. Bashet is truly grateful for the opportunity provided by microfinance."

Heated using gas from the same cow... I LOVE that statement!

1 comment:

  1. Great story! Thanks for writing it. I'll check out the Kiva site.