In Which I Have Become… a Bank

“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t really need it.”


Back in July, I helped a nice young couple buy a house in Church Hill.  They used a loan to buy their home, like most of us do.  And you know the deal; every house that I help someone buy or sell in Richmond, I connect to a struggling entrepreneur somewhere in the world.  The concept is simple- dreams should be on the buddy system.  Whenever you achieve a dream, don’t let it stop there.  Bring someone else’s along with it.

Wahhab's motorcycle shop

So when I got my paycheck, I gave a loan to a young guy named Wahhab, in Iraq (that post is here).  He was trying to expand his small motorcycle repair shop.

Looks like Wahhab’s business is doing well; last week, I got my first repayment(I don’t get any interest).  The monthly payments come back in the form of Kiva credit, and you can either choose to put the credit back on to my credit card, OR youcan relend it to another borrower.

Helping somebody achieve their dreams at no cost to you- you just have to part with your money for a while.


When you go onto Kiva’s website, you can see a picture of the people around the world who have requested loans through Kiva to help them with their small business.  You can click on them and see a bit of their story, and what their business idea is.

After you make a loan, you can see the people who have borrowed from you and where they are in their repayment.  Right now, I have loans out for borrowers in Iraq, Nicaragua, and Indonesia.

People’s business begin to prosper, and they make small monthly repayments.

If you’ve ever benefited from being the recipient of a loan (maybe a mortgage, a car loan, if you use a credit card…), think about giving a loan to somebody.  Somebody who really needs it.

Consider this definition of a bank: A bank is a place that will loan you money if you can prove that you don’t really need it.

Many people in developing countries have zero chance of getting a loan from a national bank, making it next to impossible to achieve their dreams.  You know… it takes money to make money.

What’s stopping you and me from lending to people who the banks refuse to?


Jay McGee used to live in Southeast Asia, doing language research and literacy development. Now he’s a Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty. He gives a microloan to somebody in a developing country every time someone in Richmond buys or sells their home with him.  Learn why here.


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