A loan of $250 helped to buy ingredients for her food production business (meat, spices, flour, etc.).

I helped to fund a microloan for Erlinda, an entrepreneur from the Philippines.

In the heart of Sara municipality, in Iloilo province , Philippines, you will find Erlinda attending to the customers of her food vending business. She has owned the business for the last 10 years and it has helped to support her husband and six children. This 55-year-old must still work very hard, as some of her children remain in school.

Erlinda recently approached the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) for financial assistance. She requested a loan of 10,000 Philippine Pesos, which would be used to buy ingredients for her food production business, including meat, spices, and flour. She hopes that she’ll be able to save enough of her profits to enable the construction of a new family house in the near future.

Her loan was locally administered by the NWTF, a Kiva partner and non-governmental organization. The organization’s principal aim is to provide low-income families with social and economic services to help them attain financial stability. Some of the benefits provided by the organization for its members include: microfinance services, livelihood workshops, accidental death benefits, hospital income benefits, and life insurance. The funds donated by Kiva members serve to expand the organization’s reach so that it may benefit more needy entrepreneurs in the future.

Working through the Kiva platform and the NWTF, I fully funded Erlinda’s loan, bringing her one step closer to realizing her dream of building a family house. These organizations appealed to me as a donor since they’re helping to directly facilitate change in the lives of millions by giving them an avenue to escape poverty.

The way it works is very simple: Kiva brings social entrepreneurs together, while organizations like the NWTF identify needy people on the ground and handle the actual distribution of funds. One of the reasons this system works so well is because all of the organizations involved share the same goal: to provide microfinance services to those who need them the most.

If you’d like to change the life of a needy entrepreneur as I did, you should visit www.kiva.org to find a lengthy list of individuals from around the world in need of funding.