One of the coolest things about running a business is that you can do everything your way. I don’t necessarily mean that you get to boss people around (though I guess you could, if you’re into that). I mean that, as a business owner, you have the opportunity to design exactly the sort of business that you would want to work for.
The kind of business I want to work for is one that gives back, and one that isn’t solely focused on the bottom line. I like to give, but I think giving money to charitable organizations is only one way to help.
Lately, I’ve been thinking of other ways to give back, and specifically to work together with this amazing audience we’ve grown through the blog (that’s you!) to help others. From the email I receive, the comments on the blog, the posts in the forum, and your own sites I know that you are a warm-hearted, compassionate, dedicated, kind group of people who would jump at the chance to help another sewist.
Do you know about Kiva? It’s a really cool organization. Through their website, you can make very small loans (starting at just $25) to entrepreneurs around the world who need just a little bit of capital to gain more financial independence. And you are making loans, not donations. Once your loan is repaid, you can then roll the money into another loan for someone else! It’s a fantastic way for just about all of us to make a huge difference in the lives of people who may not otherwise be able to get financial assistance for their businesses.
Small amounts of capital can be vital for a new or growing business, which is why micro-loans are so effective. Lending just a little bit of money, pooled with loans from others, can change someone’s way of life. Permanently.
I’ve started loaning to men and women with sewing businesses (just by doing a search for “sewing”), but you are welcome to join the team and loan to anyone. Once you’ve joined, any loans you make will have the option to be added to our team’s totals.
Let’s see how much we can help our fellow sewists! I’ll post an update in a few weeks’ time and let you know how much we’ve contributed as a group.
image above: Luz Elena Castro Arango from Colombia. She’s seeking a small loan for sewing supplies to grow her business, and dreams of having a spacious dressmaking workshop someday.