The secret is Kiva, a non-profit organization that aggregates investments like mine and makes micro-loans to mostly third-world entrepreneurs who have limited access to capital.
Sometime last year I made four of these $25 loans to a mechanic in Azerbaijan, two restaurants (one in Mexico another in Honduras) and a beauty salon in Tanzania. On average, each of these budding tycoons borrowed under $1000. My $25 came back to me as cash as they repaid their loans (which each of them did), and I have reinvested the money in four other businesses. I get periodic updates as payments are made.