Kiva is a great organization that allows anyone to be a micro lender for as little as $25.
From CNN.com: Your $25 can start a business, change a life
“This is microfinancing. It allows everyday people to invest as little as $25 to help people in developing countries climb out of poverty. The concept of microfinancing is nothing new. At its essence, it’s making small loans to the working poor. The loans are used to establish or expand small businesses to help families earn more money.”
Frontline has an excellent 15-minute video report that brings the subject to life:
More background information at the Frontline site: http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/uganda601/