Today’s guest post is from Seeds, a tech startup with a female founder working to build social good through microlending into every app that exists.
Most of us know what microloans are, right? They’re small loans — say $5 or $25 — given to people in need. These people can use the loans to buy livestock or supplies for their small businesses, and then pay back the loans with their proceeds.
What usually comes to everyone’s mind when they think about microloans is Kiva, the highly successful microlending nonprofit. (Fun fact: Bill Draper, one of Kiva’s investors, and Sam Birney, Kiva’s former Director of Engineering are investors in Seeds!) Kiva is awesome, but there’s actually a lot more to the world of microfinance than just what they do. We wanted to shed some light on this broader landscape today.
1. Microloans are not a type of nonprofit.
Because Kiva is a nonprofit, what seems to be a big misconception has propagated: that microlending is a category of nonprofit. In fact, it’s a type of lending and finance that happens to do a lot of social good. We think the “social good” part is what confuses people. People often don’t realize that social good doesn’t just come from nonprofits — it can also come from financial institutions, businesses and startups (like Seeds!)
When I travel to low-income countries I am most interested in learning about and reporting on maternal and newborn health. As a mother of two daughters it is my biggest passion.
Today on Giving Tuesday I am proud to work with one of my favorite international nonprofit organizations: World Vision USA. I had the distinct opportunity to travel with them to the Philippines a few years ago and saw their programs for women and newborns at a local clinic that had been rebuilt after seeing major structural damage by Typhoon Haiyan. I am always grateful to see up close the amazing work done by organizations I admire.
This year for Giving Tuesday I am happy to say that your charitable donation to World Vision’s lifesaving work with mothers and newborns will be generously matched in product by Thirty-One Gifts. Products like totes (such as the one seen below), blankets, apparel, and thermals will be matched up to $2,000,000 and will be given to help mothers and infants around the world where World Vision works. That’s a lot of giving in one day!
If you have big social conscience but a small savings account, these apps will turn your everyday actions into charitable giving. Whether you are playing games, dining out, walking a dog, or downloading more apps, you can fit philanthropy into your daily routine without spending a dime.
When you think about all the time we Americans spend on our mobile devices, about 162 minutes each day (mostly with mobile apps), it becomes clear that there’s huge untapped potential for positive impact. Why not have fun and do good at the same time? Small actions can make a big difference.
The first Social Good Village launched last week at Cannes with film screenings, interviews and live performances. Global Cause Days are also a part of the Social Good Village festivities providing a deep dive into five topics: nature and environment, education, women’s empowerment, climate and innovation for good.
Today takes a look at Women’s Empowerment with a panel including Alexandre Lecouillard, Carla Ortiz, actress and producer of the film Olvidados, Virginie Cicco from Tous contre le cancer, Joanne Reay, Director Terra Mater, Rula Nassar, producer and founder of Imaginarium and Aya Al Balushi , the Founder and Managing Partner of SEAT 26.