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Mech425 Microfinance Project

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Mech425.jpg This page was part of a project for Mech425, a Queen's University class on Engineering for Sustainable Development.

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Microfinance project[edit]

Microcredit banking offers business training, peer support, and small loans (even only a few dollars) to the world’s poorest people. It has been extremely successful at driving sustainable development as we saw in the readings/video for last class. Microfinance is a form of Socially responsible investing. To continue where the last mini-project left off - this project is meant to give you more insight into the conditions of the Global South in order to inform your AT Project Design. (You should already have a basic literature review done for it).

The course has a lending team, MECH425, on Kiva, a non-profit website that allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur across the globe. You choose who to lend to - whether a baker in Afghanistan, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, a restaurateur in Cambodia, or a tailor in Iraq - and as they repay the loan, you get your money back.

Step 1: Join the team here: http://www.kiva.org/team/mech425

Once you're a part of the team, you can choose to have a future loan on Kiva "count" towards our team's impact. The loan is still yours, and repayments still come to you - but you can also choose to have the loan show up in our team's collective portfolio.

Step 2: Peruse the Kiva site in order to understand how microfinance works and look at the type of entrepreneurs and why they are requesting loans.

Step 3: Loan and discuss. For the microfinance project please make at least one loan on Kiva and write NO MORE THAN 1 PAGE on your choice and your reasoning to maximize sustainable development. Alternatively, if you are not in a position to make a loan at this same time -- look through the loan options and write a page on the loan you would like to make and why.

Papers are due in class on next Friday 3/26 at the beginning of class.