Lately my ears perk up when I hear the word “microenterprise.” What is microenterprise? It’s the idea that by giving someone a small amount of capital, she can use the cash to invest in a business that allows her to create a product or service to support her family. Overseas, a microloan of a few hundred dollars can transform lives.
There are tons of organizations out there involved in this work. I purchased my first microloan through World Vision, when brother and I bought presents for our family from the World Vision catalog one Christmas. The big one I know about is Kiva, which has given away $150 million in microloans in just 5 years of business. (Wall Street Journal, 10/22/2010).
The one I think about the most is a microeconomics organization that’s now a part of the Free Methodist Church, called Heavenly Treasures (HT). We first met the peeps from HT last June at our annual FMC Leadership Summit. Heavenly Treasures is helping people all over the globe setup their own business to create products which they are selling at conferences, in specialty shops, and online. On my first visit to one of their shops, I was blown away at the quality of the goods, and went
on to discover that their founder works with the local artisans to help them create products that will appeal to Westerners and thereby increase their earnings.
I think about HT most days, as I carry around this beautiful hippie bag knapsack with an embroidered sequined elephant, through which I invested $20 into the life of the woman in Thailand who created it. HT’s slogan is, “Every product represents a changed life.”
Anyways, Christmas, the season of giving gifts to loved ones is around the corner, and so I just wanted to give a shout out on behalf of the incredible products at Heavenly Treasures, which you can buy online, and which I’ve found to be both beautiful and high-quality. And the cool part is you can tuck a brochure in with the gift and give your sweetie the knowledge that this gift improved the life of a stranger so much more than and equivalent made-overseas-piece bought from the mall. Whereas when we shop at Target or The Gap, the person who made that piece is seeing pennies of it, at Heavenly Treasures, 100% of that money is being reinvested in the business that created it.
So, go check out Heavenly Treasures online and change a life through your shopping this Christmas! Your friends and family will love you for it, and you’re doing a really, really cool thing. So. Go do it. Right now. What are you waiting for? Seriously, go. *Click*