As some of you may know, I’ve developed a passion for microfinance. My journey into exploring microfinance started back in April of 2007 (wow, over a year ago) when I discovered Kiva and realized the potential for using web 2.0 technology to change people’s lives. Additionally, in August, one of my best friends from high school, Kayla Villnow, made the decision to live and work in the Dominican Republic helping grow microfinance. She now works for Esperanza, a lender of micro loans founded by Dave Valle (long-time Mariners catcher). In September, Kayla sent me an e-mail that I highlighted on this blog that I could not ignore; I concluded by saying this:

I think there is a huge need to catapult all the great things micro-lenders around the world (and non-profits like Kiva) are doing into the national spotlight. If you’re passionate about micro-finance and bringing people out of poverty, please either leave a comment or e-mail me — maybe we can collaborate and figure out a way to bring more attention to these stories and issues.

I’m kicking myself for taking so long with this project, but I’m happy to say that my friend from college, Jerry Ostradicky, and I can finally announce the side project relating to microfinance we’ve been working on for some time — myKRO.org, a multi-author blog dedicated to microfinance.

mykromedium.jpg

The goal of the blog is two-fold —

  1. Educate the general public about what microfinance is and how it impacts the lives of those it touches
  2. Share best practices from the microfinance community

If you are wondering what the name myKRO means — it originated from a combination of English and Bengali words. The phrase “Khudro Riner Ontore” means Inside Microfinance in Bengali, which abbreviates to KRO. To demonstrate the importance of the personal nature of microfinance, the “my” was added. Of course, the fact that myKRO happens to sound like micro didn’t hurt.

The next question you are probably wondering is “why?” Pretty simple actually. After learning about Kiva, I spoke to numerous friends, colleagues, and family members about microfinance. EVERYONE thought the concept was awesome once I explained it to them. The problem? Despite the fact that the concept is 25 years old, no one knew what microfinance was or how they could help.

I scoured the web for a central source of news, opinion, and analysis, but didn’t really find anything that fit what I was looking for — so, I decided that I would organize a multi-author blog for anyone passionate about microfinance to share their experiences, thoughts, and opinions regarding microlending. I told my friend Jerry about the idea and, luckily for me, he immediately expressed interest in helping organize and run the blog.

As I’ve said before, part of the reason I blog is to increase awareness for issues not given the proper attention in the mainstream media — and microfinance is certainly a concept that could use some additional awareness.

There so much more I could write, but to wrap this up, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Jeff Turner, the President of Real Estate Shows, who was kind enough to design the logo for myKRO.org.

If you are interested in helping, you can do a couple of things:

  • If you know anyone passionate about microfinance, let them know about myKRO.org
  • If you are a techie and would like to help coding some new features into the blog, send me an e-mail (my e-mail is on the sidebar)
  • Head over to myKRO and read the 1st post
  • Blog about it!!