16 Dec 2010
Keen readers of Meedan's latest newsletter (here if you missed it) will have noted a small notice announcing an exciting new project in partnership with Kiva - world leaders in connecting entrepreneurs around the world with microfinance lenders via their online platform.
Our project aims at increasing Kiva’s reach in the Middle East and increasing the access of Arabic-speaking entrepreneurs to microfinance from the English-speaking world. To achieve this Meedan will be working in cooperation with Kiva to enable the Kiva.org platform to support Arabic and other right-to-left languages, and to translate loan requests received in Arabic from Kiva’s partners in the Middle East into English.
Here’s how it works:
Al Majmoua works directly with Eid and sends Kiva a short description of Eid’s personal background, loan history and his reasons for wanting a loan. Until now, if an MFI in the Arabic-speaking world could not support the translation of this background information into English, they were unable to work with Kiva.
Meedan then translates Eid’s loan request into English, posting it on the Kiva.org website:
Kiva’s community of microlenders can then offer financing to fill the loan, helping Eid get the funds he needs to develop his business. Eid then makes monthly repayments to Kiva’s MFI partners, who are then able to reinvest and help support others, like Eid, to improve their standard of living through business development and education.
Since the start of the program, Kiva.org has posted over 60 loans translated from Arabic, for entrepreneurs from Lebanon and Iraq working in a diverse variety of businesses: from hairdressing to tiling, transport to sales and fishing to tailoring.
We’re also working with Kiva to find and recruit new MFI partners in the region, expanding Kiva’s reach in additional countries by allowing partners to post loans directly to Kiva in Arabic. It’s a fantastic way to increase Kiva’s impact in the Arabic-speaking world, and the impact of its donors, in a very real way and contribute to bridge-building between the West and Middle East.