Last week, I visited Kiva.org in search of a Kenyan business to support. If you haven’t yet heard of this organization:

Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you’ve sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.

Once on the site, I found no registered businesses – anywhere – left in need. There has been an amazing influx of funding thanks to publicity from Oprah, NBC and others. What incredible news! As of this week, Kiva has posted several additional people to help and they are searching for more.

I was drawn to Yudaya, a 42-year-old widow with five children. Yudaya is seeking funds to help stock her hardware business where she sells equipment and supplies. As with any business, one hopes for profits and Yudaya’s dream, beyond running a sustainable business, is to buy a mortocycle (a boda boda).

Group Name: Kamuli C1 (c) Group
Group Members: Irene Kutesa , Roseline Komugisha , Sophie Nalubango , Dorothy Nanfuma , Yudaya Dorothy
Location: Kireka, Uganda
Primary Activity: Hardware
Loan Requested: $1,650.00
Repayment Term: 12 months – repaid monthly
Loan Use: To stock her hardware store
Date Posted: Jan 20, 2008

If you feel inclined, you too can support Yudaya’s needs and follow her progress, or visit Kiva.org to choose a different business. Help buy a goat, sell clothing, fund a mini-bus shuttle service.

Because the number of lenders continues to exceeded available business prospects, Kiva has temporarily restricted loan amounts to $25. While $25 may seem insignificant, this restriction has provided an interesting opportunity. Sometimes it’s not about the money. It’s about feeling positive energy from many individuals who believe in you and your dream. It feels good to be on the support team, no matter how small the role.