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Hi, I'm a finance blogger who is interested in how different financial tools, including microfinance, can deliver real value to consumers.
Kiva Small Business Advisor for the Greater Seattle area. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently a Master of Public Administration (MPA) student at Bowling Green State. University in Bowling Green, Ohio, USA. Specializing in International Development with focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
I work in Advertising Operations at Zillow, but LOVE microfinance. I'm always interested in startups, especially non-profits, reach out to me if you're working on anything cool!
Recycle to Eradicate Poverty, or RTEP for short, is a innovative group out of Dallas, Texas that is turning recycled phones into microfinance loans.Â The unique initiative celebrates the last two Nobel Peace Prize concepts: environmental conservation and microfinance. Electronic waste like cell phones pollute the environment (up to 35,000 gallons of water per phone) and microfinance has been proven to be an effective poverty alleviation tool.Â In response to these issues and as a fundraising technique The Chiapas Project (also the Grameen Foundation), a Dallas based 501(c)3 non profit founded by Lucy Billingsley, created a program called Recycle to Eradicate Poverty.
AtÂ www.turnphonesintoloans.org/, they allow anyone who hasÂ access to the Internet to get pre-paid baggies and make a difference for free.Â After entering in your information, they send as many baggies as you want to your address within 3-5 business days so that you can in turn distribute them among events, in offices, to pass out, etc. Each person simply puts their cell phones inside a baggie (up to 5 per bag) and places it into their mailbox.
Using this process, they hope to beat the One Million Cell Phone Challenge that they have set for themselves (recycling one million cell phones across America would save 350 TRILLION gallons of water and allow 100,000 women, that’s right, 100,000, to rise from poverty through microfinance). ClickÂ here to watch their short video orÂ here to watch their longer video on youtube. I know I am not alone in wishing them the best of luck in their noble goal (I am of course going to order a some extra bags to hand out to friends and family).