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Best Way to Help the World from Your Desk San Francisco 2008 - Kiva

On Kiva's Web site, a mere $25 contribution via PayPal or credit card into a microloan can help a cattle breeder to buy a new calf in Azerbaijan, or indigenous women in Mexico to invest in thread and dye to embroider textiles. Started by a Bay Area couple inspired by Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning pioneer of microcredit loans, the San Francisco-based site even has Bill Clinton touting it as a way to lift entrepreneurs in developing countries out of poverty for minimal outlay. The site features profiles and pictures of the entrepreneurs, so you can choose exactly whom you loan to; you can even buy gift certificates to pass on globally conscious giving to a friend. Most entrepreneurs will pay you back in six to 12 months, so you can use that money for your next investment.

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