Lance posted here about an entrepreneurial individual who has set up a rice donation website – and in the process made himself a significant amount of money. It got me thinking about the difference between charity and support. As they say;

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

I prefer microfinance myself – giving innovative entrepreneurial individuals in third world countries the ability to create a future for themselves.

I’ve not yet loaned on microfinance website Kiva but have heard some good things about it. What I’d love to see would be a comparative analysis trackingUSD1000 donated to a charity and USD1000 invested with Kiva – I think I already know the results!

Yes I know they’re two different things and their are people for whom microfinance is not appropriate (the sick and children for example) – but I’ve always felt a tad uneasy about the “I can drive my Range Rover as much as I like darling, don’t you know I sponsor a poor child in Africa or some other God forsaken hole” mentality. Lending them money to build their own future seems a whole lot better to me.

Thoughts anyone?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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