In August 2010, an online lending platform called The Hoop Fund launched, inviting users to "lend," "produce" and "enjoy" products from dark chocolate quinoa to hand-woven cardigans.
Building on Kiva's model, The Hoop supports the fair trade movement, and helps fund small businesses in developing countries. But The Hoop reserves its finances for co-ops to improve labor conditions and product quality by funding new resources.
CEO Patrick Donahue writes on The Hoop Blog,
"We were excited about how enthusiastically people responded to our vision of "invested consumption" how we each can invest in the makers of great products in the developing world, and create our own personal stories about how we turned our consumption into something more meaningful."
The Chronicle of Philanthropy interviewed Donahue on how the site creates a sense of emotional investment in the products we purchase:
"If you invest in the production of coffee, that's your coffee too," he says. "So you can go out and say to your friends and family, 'I helped make this cup of coffee. You should try it out.'"
To join this viral network and help fund currently projects like the Medicinal Plant Garden, and Vocational School Tuition, visit The Hoop's lending tab.