International Microgrant: Village Enterprise Fund
Every time someone buys one of our sweatshop free t-shirts through Skreened, we send a dollar to a liberal policy group in the USA and send another dollar in economic development aid for the developing world. That way, you can have the security of knowing that the shirt on your back was made with respect for the human who made it, but you also can be assured that some money is being directed to the developing nations that desperately need capital.
Until last month, we’d made our overseas economic development donations through Kiva microloans, but then we discovered that the Kiva system involves charging immensely high interest rates to destitute borrowers. Kiva says it can’t do any better than usury, which means we’ll have to do better than Kiva. So this month our donation goes to the Village Enterprise Fund, an organization that distributes microgrants to groups of people living in rural Kenya and Uganda. These groups use the microgrants to start up small businesses while VEF gives them ongoing training in business practices.