I first learned of microloans from a company that has been helping out around the world for years: Kiva. In a high school class my teacher let us pick a person to loan to for under $100. Although we only got about 70% of the loan returned, it was accompanied by a thank-you letter from the lady we loaned the money to. She was so incredibly grateful that we would loan her money and I do believe she paid back everything, just after the designated time period.
The fact is, most microloans are paid back in-full. Small business is how most citizens of third-world countries make a living. Supporting business and growth by supplying microloans is one thing, but to personally help keep a sustainable source of food on the table for these families is the real satisfaction.
I hope micro lending keeps a steady growth and isn't just another fad. In order to keep it alive, microloan companies must continue creating innovative ways to solicit lenders and ultimately expedite the improvement of a country as a whole. [Via]