Back in 2006, I started lending money to small businesspeople around the world with Kiva. Over the past 6+ years, I’ve made 32 loans totalling more than $800. The beautiful part is that I’ve really only spent a fraction of that amount. You see, when these loans are paid back (and research shows that default rates for these types of “micro” loans are much lower than those made to larger businesses), the money can be lent out again and again. It’s immensely gratifying to know that my money is being stretched as far as possible to help people not just make a living, but to improve the lives of their families and communities. Here’s a bit more on the concept of microfinance:
Frankly, I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to connect the concept of short films to these small loans. In the same way that a short film can give you an introduction to a vastly different culture in just a few minutes, you can make a big difference a long way from home with just a few bucks.
If you’re a fan of what I’m trying to do with Shorts That Are Not Pants, please give a thought to all the men and women struggling to make their businesses a lasting source of income for their families all around the world. And then consider making that first loan. I don’t mean to alarm you, but you’ll find it’s immensely satisfying. And addictive!