Kiva & 101 Cookbooks Recipe

A way for 101 Cookbooks readers to work together - I've set up and seeded a Kiva group with $1000 in loans (in addition to the dozen or so loans that I previously had in the Kiva system). If you have $25 to loan you can participate...

Kiva & 101 Cookbooks

I've set up 101 Cookbooks as a Kiva Lending Team. There were nearly a million visits to 101 Cookbooks last month - a statistic that continues to amaze me. As the site has grown over the years, I kept thinking to myself that it would be great to figure out a way for us to affect change as a group - me + you.

I've long been a fan of Kiva. For those of you who aren't familiar with Kiva, it's a grassroots project that allows someone like me to make (real-time) micro-loans directly to entrepreneurs in the developing world via the internet. We are talking about small loans, not donations, to people (who in many cases) wouldn't qualify for loans otherwise. I'm convinced of the power of small amounts of capital to make a big difference, and I believe in the power of individuals - both on the lending and receiving ends. My loan of $25, combined with loans of $25 from other individuals can significantly impact lives and prospects. I've been making loans over the past year as an individual, but in the back of my mind I kept imagining it would be even more exciting for us to be able to loan as a group or team.

Flash forward a few months, Kiva just enabled team lending on their site. I've set up 101 Cookbooks as a Kiva Lending Team and seeded our group with $1000 in loans (in addition to the dozen or so loans that I previously had in the Kiva system). If you have $25 to loan you can participate - most of the loans I make are in the $25 to $100 range. As the micro-loans are being paid back to me, I can turn around and re-allocate funds to other entrepreneurs. It's great. If you do end up making a loan (or loans) be sure to add yourself to the 101 Cookbooks Team. I'll be able to message people there and I'm excited to keep track of the individuals we are loaning to through that page. I tend to focus on loans to farmers, cooks, and individuals doing food production, but you can support anyone you like. Perhaps as our lending power grows down the line, we might cherry-pick certain entrepreneurs to support en mass. I'll highlight our progress here over the coming months as well. Let's see what we can do - I don't think $100,000 in loans from us as a group is an impossible first goal. To participate:

1. Sign up for a Kiva account. If you already have a Kiva account, log in.

2. Join the 101 Cookbooks Lending Team

3. Lend.

The lead photo is of Risikat Tijani - Lagos State, Nigeria. At the time of this post her loan of $700 is 63% repaid - you can see the group of thirteen individual lenders listed below her profile.

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I'm in! Thanks for writing about this.

Liz C

This is such a great initiative!


Count me in Heidi!

vic baker

Hi Heidi, Team lending sounds a great idea. Thanks for doing the groundwork and setting up the team. You are really a person with amazing talents and a great heart. -Debs HS: Thanks for the nice note Debs!


I congratulate you for the initiative. That is great! I am in!


Heidi, I joined Kiva many months ago because I read about in your profile. I have proudly sponsored and have encouraged others to do so by placing a Kiva label on my blog. When my 16 year old daughter won a community service award of $250, she knew exactly what the money would go towards - Kiva! Thank you for doing so much to promote such a great organization. HS: Thats GREAT Kristy - congratulations to your daughter on her award. It is great that she is reinvesting the money to help others.


Hi Heidi, I promptly went to sign up and found I already had an account. Evidently I signed up earlier this year - thanks to the logo I spotted in your "links" section - and got swept away with life and forgot I did so. Thank you for this post and reminding me about this great organization to help other achieve their goals. BTW - how can I get a logo on my site? HS: Hi Ingrid, there is a page on the Kiva site that hosts all their logos. OR you can drag my little button from the browser onto your desktop and then do whatever you like with it.


Good for you! This is such an amazing project. I think it is so great that it instills pride and confidence in people which will do so much more for people than a hand out.


Great idea! I currently have some money invested at Kiva, when it's available to reinvest, I'll definitely do so as part of this lending team. HS: Fantastic Koren. Looking forward to welcoming you to the 101 group.


Wonderful idea - I'll sign up for the team today! I also like Jon's idea of collecting recipes and/or other interesting information from the loan recipients, I think would create a greater connection between the people lending and those receiving.


What a great idea. I also contribute to As Green As it Gets. They support small independent producers and promote environmentally sustainable agriculture in Guatemala. As interest you receive a bag of coffee. HS: I'll have a look at them as well.


What if you - in addition to getting project feedback, what if you asked for a family recipe from each (relevant) beneficiary -- you could compile an amazing global home cooking cookbook and use the proceeds to fund more loans! HS: Great idea Jon.


I like being told exactly HOW to help so thanks for the explicit instructions. Love the idea of people starting out in the kitchen. I'm in.


This is such a good idea. Kiva is an amazingly simple yet life-changing concept (for both givers and receivers!).

Fit Bottomed Girl

I knew about Kiva but I like the team lending idea even more! Great idea to put together a team. I'll take a look at some of your projects you want to sponsor.

Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

I had heard about this organization some time ago and am happy to be reminded of it's existence. Even in these lean/mean economic times it's always possible to help someone less fortunate than ourselves. Imagine the possibilities if even half of Heidi fans contributed as little as $25.00! HS: I know! I think it might take some time, but I think in the coming months we can really pack a punch as a group.


Brilliant idea Heidi. I've loaned money to Kiva and love the way that that money gets put to work empowering small business owners in countries where capital is scarce. HS: You said it Elise, I love reading the profiles and stories - not just the entrepreneurs, but of the Kiva Fellows too!

Elise Bauer

I just saw a story about this a few months ago on Current TV. They said that most loans of as small as $25.00 can help someone buy the tools necessary to start their own business. They profiled this man who repaired bicycles, but needed a few tools to do the job. He got a loan for $50.00 which helped him get more business. They said something like 95% of the loans get repaid within 6 months. Its amazing what a little money to us, means so much for these people. Great idea Heidi!

Jennifer von Ebers

You have one million hits a month because your recipes are amazing: simple, fresh, innovative and so DO-able... Thanks for your inspiration (culinary and social!!!!)


Yeah! Kiva is such a great organization! It is a really easy way to help people help themselves. Great idea to have a 101 Cookbooks lending team! Thanks Heidi! HS: Thank you Amy :)


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