Our aim is very simple: to provide access to a varied amount of resources for people interested in either starting a a new business or expanding an existing one. To this end, whether you are looking for help from your local city or county enterprise board or seeking the services of a web designer or a virtual assistant, chances are that you will have some savings or a redundancy lump sum payment to help you get started and your feet off the ground.

Despite the slowdown in our economy, with our EU membership, strong inward investment from multinationals, improving infrastructure and well developed education system we remain poised to benefit from a global economic recovery once it gets underway. While difficult, it is still an environment in which entrepreneurs can continue to thrive.

Unfortunately, there are entrepreneurs in many less developed countries of the world who do not have access to the wealth of resources available to us but who strive nonetheless to get a new business off the ground in order to provide for themselves and their families. To make an impact both at home and overseas, we have teamed up with the micro-lending website Kiva in order to channel 10% of all income generated by Business-Startup.ie into micro-loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries accross the world. To see who we are lending to ourselves please visit our webpage on the Kiva site at http://www.kiva.org/lender/businessstartup .

What Is Kiva?

Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.

The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.

Kiva partners with existing expert microfinance institutions. In doing so, we gain access to outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide. Our partners are experts in choosing qualified entrepreneurs. That said, they are usually short on funds. Through Kiva, our partners upload their entrepreneur profiles directly to the site so you can lend to them. When you do, not only do you get a unique experience connecting to a specific entrepreneur on the other side of the planet, but our microfinance partners can do more of what they do, more efficiently.

Kiva provides a data-rich, transparent lending platform. We are constantly working to make the system more transparent to show how money flows throughout the entire cycle, and what effect it has on the people and institutions lending it, borrowing it, and managing it along the way. To do this, we are using the power of the internet to facilitate one-to-one connections that were previously prohibitively expensive. Child sponsorship has always been a high overhead business. Kiva creates a similar interpersonal connection at much lower costs due to the instant, inexpensive nature of internet delivery. The individuals featured on our website are real people who need a loan and are waiting for socially-minded individuals like you to lend them money.

How Kiva works

Choose an Entrepreneur, Lend, Get Repaid

The below diagram shows briefly how money gets from you to an entrepreneur, and back.

1) Lenders like you browse profiles of entrepreneurs in need, and choose someone to lend to. When they lend, using PayPal or their credit cards, Kiva collects the funds and then passes them along to one of our microfinance partners worldwide.

2) Kiva's microfinance partners distribute the loan funds to the selected entrepreneur. Often, our partners also provide training and other assistance to maximize the entrepreneur's chances of success.

3) Over time, the entrepreneur repays their loan. Repayment and other updates are posted on Kiva and emailed to lenders who wish to receive them.

4) When lenders get their money back, they can re-lend to someone else in need, donate their funds to Kiva (to cover operational expenses), or withdraw their funds.

 

Starting a business is not easy! But it certainly is a whole lot easier in Ireland than other far flung corners of the world. If successful in your own endeavours why not consider getting involved in micro-lending to budding entrepreneurs overseas who don't have access to quite such a generous  regime as we have here in Ireland and where making a living can literally be a matter of life and death.

Check out www.kiva.org or simply google micro-finance or micro-lending for other organisations involved in this very beneficial area.