Kiva is a great place in which you can help empower an entrepeneur in a third world country. You lend small amounts of money (as low as $25) to a specific entrepeneur, helping end global poverty one person at a time. You will receieve email update messages about the businesses you are supporting. A typical loan lasts 6-12 months. Kiva will send you updates when your entrepeneur begins to repay the loan. I received this message today:
The business you have loaned to, Ventas de Ropa Martha , has made a repayment of $63.00. The total amount repaid up to now is $63.00. The payment was collected and deposited by MIFEX. This repayment will be divided amongst all the lenders who helped to fund this business, depending upon the percentage each lender contributed. Note that you cannot actually withdraw or reloan these funds until after the loan term is complete.