Ever since I came across the Geneva-based International Guarantee Fund, I’ve thought that guaranteeing loans for organizations and individuals in poor countries that have no access to credit is one of the most effective and highly leveraged ways for foundations and other social investors to use their funds. In the case of the International Guarantee Fund, the guarantees were made in Switzerland and the money was borrowed in Latin America and Africa, and no money even needed to change continents provided the loans were repaid.
So I was interested to read in Tactical Philanthropy about a new organization established precisely to guarantee loans for entrepreneurs all over the world with no collateral. Like Kiva, United Prosperity brings together investors and investees on its website, but in this case investors are being asked to provide loan guarantees rather than loans. According to its website, ‘United Prosperity is the world’s first person to person loan guaranteeing website.’