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How to Become a Microlender

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Microlending, pioneered by Mohammed Yunus of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, is an enterprise in which lenders grant small loans, or microloans, to small business entrepreneurs in developing countries. These microloans, often ranging between $10 and $50, would be used to purchase capital, such as seeds, fertilizer and fishing or farming equipment, needed to start a small business such as a farm or fruit stand. The borrower would repay the loan from profits within a certain time period. Microloans have helped otherwise destitute people with no other means or credit access to support themselves and rise from extreme poverty. To become a microlender, you can lend a small amount through a non-profit organization using a valid credit card and a PayPal account.

Research organizations online that provide safe and effective microlending opportunities. Select and register with the appropriate organization.

Review business plans and proposals featured on the organization's website. Entrepreneurs' personal profiles, backgrounds and trade information are described on each profile site. Select the appropriate entrepreneurship profile, according to the amount you wish to lend. Ensure that you have a valid major credit card and active PayPal account as secure transactions process though PayPal.

Transfer the appropriate loan amount from your major credit card to your PayPal account. Then disperse the loan amount to the entrepreneur's business profile site featured on the microlending organization's website.

Check for periodic updates on your investment as well as your sponsored entrepreneur's progress by accessing his business site. Also, check your PayPal account for repayment updates.

Tip

Microlending can be done through for-profit or non-profit lending institutions. For-profit organizations often charge the entrepreneur interest, which may or may not be passed on to the original microlender. A non-profit organization, such as Kiva.org, charges no interest; thus, microlenders do not earn interest on their loans.

Warning

Be sure to lend through a legitimate microlending organization. You can research an organization's rating with the Better Business Bureau, the State Department and your state or local Chamber of Commerce to ensure that your transactions are secure and available to a legitimate entrepreneur.