In my quest to learn more/support about the 'other entrepreneurs' (those aiming slight right of the make money vs save the world line) the next on the list is Kiva, which has received a lot of press lately as the poster-site for micro-lending.
Kiva offers 'loans that changes lives," But I like their positioning statement: "We let you loan to the working poor." Kiva collects $25+ donation from individuals and loans them to 3rd world entrepreneurs looking to expand, grow, or sustain their businesses.
Every entrepreneur or wannabe entrepreneur needs to head immediately to Kiva and donate $25.00 for some good old fashioned startup karma.
Mine went to a 28 year old father of one in Togo. (By the way Togo is a tiny country in West Africa...Kiva is good for geography lessons as well). He runs a motorbike repair shop. He requested a loan so that he could buy more parts...since his supply couldn't meet his demand. If he has more parts, he can do more repairs, make more money, and so on. Standard business. Awesome. All for $25
He's even paid back $2.08 already. And, just like vegas, Kiva has it figured out. It's REAL easy to reinvest when your money's already in the system. Who should I fund next?
Kiva. Change the world through the entrepreneurial drive of others.
Living in the sports/startup world is interesting. One minute I'm reading Sports Illustrated making sure I'm up to date on the industry (as well as getting my college basketball fix, GO DAWGS!), the next minute I'm reading some obscure random tech/entrepreneur/vc blog that the majority of Sports Illustrated readers have never heard of.
Luckily for me, the lessons are occasionally the same:
From SI's Feb 2nd Issue (On How LeBron James is, well, scary good):
"Cleveland general manager Danny Ferry attributes the new regimen (weight lifting) to James's national team experience. 'From a corporate sense, it's like those guys spent their summer sharing best practices," says Ferry. 'If they have a meeting in the morning and Kobe Bryan comes in sweaty, LeBron's going to say Holy ...., this guy's already working. That's what it takes."
(I of course like the sweaty CEO since that's where I live). More than the sweat, it's the idea of 'best practices' of Startup CEOs and how to learn from the successes (and mistakes) of all those who went before you.
I love sports. Startups rock. I'm lucky I get to live in both worlds. I hope you're as excited about the worlds you live in.