You may have seen articles that imply microloans aren't as powerful as their advocates have claimed. Those articles are likely right. But you'll probably find, if you read them, that the dispute is one of degree rather than a true repudiation of microloans. Microloans are not a poverty panacea. Many recipients of microloans do still live in poverty. Overall, studies seem to indicate minimal overall benefits from microloans (FiveThirtyEight has a good article summarizing the results of studies in the area.)
I would posit two reasons to make microloans on Kiva, despite the above study:
- Unlike investment based microloans, Kiva loans are made at 0% interest.
- While I might not eradicate poverty, even for the person to whom I am making the loan, the chance is worth the cost.
There are a dozen other reasons why I like this approach, but I'll let the reader decide his or her personal reasons why it's a worthwhile approach. And if the reader decides it's not a worthwhile approach, the reader is wrong.
Remember, the David is always right (for given values of 'always' and 'right').