Over the last few years, the World bank has been collating information about remittances between countries. Africans and their friends in the diaspora transferred substantial amounts of money back to the homelands. For example, Nigerians transmitted over $22 billion per annum and those are official figures likely to be understated because majority of transfers take place amongst friends and family members. These remittances are more than four times the total investments by multination companies in Nigeria.
Many researches have shown that the greatest obstacle to economic development, prosperity and eradication of poverty is the lack of money for investment. Nigeria has one of the highest level of entrepreneurial activities in the world, but unfortunately, many entrepreneurs do not have enough money to start, expand or take their businesses to the next level. The governments have no money to provide infrastructures never mind helping entrepreneurs.
In almost every country where there are immigrants, they are more likely to work harder than the locals and earn less, but this group still send a colossal amount of money back to the motherland to help others.
How can you help? There are several ways to help by providing small amounts of money by a lot of people to form cooperatives in different parts of Nigeria. This process has helped a lot of entrepreneurs in India and several other countries. The debt recovery rate can be as high as 97%, you can get your money back and then relend again or spend it. There are no interest charges on these loans, but at least you know your money is going to a good cause.
Initially, I wanted to setup a co-operative and use the selection process that I designed to help select good ventures, but this will involve a lot of setup and on going administrative costs of compliance and transparency. Check the details of the borrowers and follow up to make sure that loans are repaid. All these expenses will eat into the money being lent out. The alternative is to use a company that is already setup and have the experience of dealing with lending and recovery of loans, hence Kiva.org is a good choice. I have formed a team, but don’t have to join my team, there hundreds of good causes across the world that you can help with as little as $25. A life lived in helping others is one well worthy of living
Every borrower on www.Kiva.org will present their case and you can then opt to lend them your money or not.
Please search for supporting entrepreneurs in Nigeria and join the team.