Give a Little, Get a Little: How VW Helps Entrepreneurs Around the World
April 12, 2013 | By Kevin Vela
Vela Wood often helps both startups and seasoned businesses as they endeavor to find investors. You may not know, though, that here at VW we are in fact investors ourselves!
Each month Vela Wood contributes to small business owners through Kiva, a non-profit crowdfunding website that works with field partners all over the world to get much-needed loans to disadvantaged entrepreneurs across the globe. These borrowers are from all different sectors – agriculture, the arts, construction, retail, health and education (just to name a few). While some are looking for capital to start their business, others are looking to grow their business or simply to get through hard times. Most people loan $25, but these micro-loans come together to make a huge difference in the lives of the borrowers. You can read more about their work here.
Every month at our firm meeting, we all sit down to read about a few potential borrowers, then determine who we want to lend to via a majority vote by the whole office. Some recent VW investments include loans to Abror from Tajikstan to give his son a wedding dowry, and to Herlenbaatar from Mongolia to purchase wheels for his transportation business. Overall, VW has made loans to both men and women from six different countries in four different “sectors” defined by Kiva: wholesale, agriculture, transportation, and personal use.
This past month Vela Wood decided to donate toward an Albanian man named Ferit. Ferit needs the capital to buy a new dairy cow to add to his herd; he has successfully been in the livestock business for twenty-five years! As of this week he is halfway to his goal. Once he reaches his goal and buys his new dairy cow, he will have repaid his lenders, including VW, within 20 months—incredible! VW picks a new borrower from Kiva to lend to each month. Check out Kiva’s website for yourself, and feel free to send us the links to your favorite borrowers for our May investment!