I have always believed wealth creation by entrepreneurship is a more credible and sustainable way of giving back than giving aids. More like the principle of teaching someone how to fish vs giving someone a fish. Entrepreneurship paves way for wealth creation, which also creates jobs, improves living standard and ultimately contribute to economic development.
As an entrepreneur I have always had this dream of an angel investment company / micro finance bank and plans for that is still in the pipeline. However like I said in my previous post on giving back, you will always have opportunities to make small contributions and that is why I'm very interested in what Kiva.org is doing. The website helps entrepreneurs in developing countries to access loans from different people all over the world. Thanks to the power of the Internet…now a poultry farmer in Nigeria can get loans from someone he or she doesn’t know in the United States. A carpenter in Cambodia can also get connected to a lender like me in the United Kingdom and all of us together are making the world a better place. We are doing it not just by giving money as aids and then they come back later, but we're making contributions in a more sustainable way by empowering them to build businesses.
Kiva.org allows individuals to make $25 loans to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world (microfinance). By doing so, individuals like you provide affordable working capital for the poor (money to buy a sewing machine, livestock, etc.), empowering them to earn their way out of poverty.
It's a new, direct and sustainable way to fight global poverty, and the way I see it, you get a higher return on $25 helping someone build a future than the interest your checking account pays.
Anyways, if you have a minute, please check out the site: http://kiva.org. If you need more "reputable" validation than my recommendation :), know that they have received great press in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to NPR to BusinessWeek.
Thanks for reading!