We are always hearing that it’s better to help people in developing countries by teaching them skills rather than just giving them monetary handouts or sacks of grain, now you can help them by loaning them money to set-up their own business or fund entreprenuerial ideas.
“Kiva.org is the worldâ€™s first peer-to-peer, distributed microloan website. A great idea where PayPal meets Gates Foundation. The site allows you to lend a small amount of money, say $25, to needy microenterprises in developing countries. You receive repayment at the end of the loan period (normally 6-12 months) without interest. If they default on the loan, your loan becomes a donation â€“ though none of the businesses have defaulted yet. A great low-risk, high-reward idea.”
Boing Boing: Loan tiny sums to micro-enterprises in the developing world
I suppose this could well be the gift that keeps on giving, you allocate some money and when it gets paid back you can just loan it to someone else.