Posts from Kiva Marketing

Meet Sandra, Zambia's Most Successful Kiva Borrower & Mobile Transactions Agent


“I just want to be a successful business woman,” Sandra says when asked what she hopes to achieve in the next 2-3 years.

She already is. In fact, she is the most successful agent working with Zoona--a mobile money/transactions company that allows individuals to send and receive money over their phones using the conversion of cash into electronic value, and electronic value back into cash. Zoona relies on a distrubuted network of agents, like Sandra, who operate businesses that provide the cash in/out capability.

Sandra opened her first mobile transactions shop in 2010 and now has expanded to four! She is dominating the market in Kitwe, the second largest city in Zambia and the mining center of the Copperbelt Province. And she's only 26.

Zoona staff say it’s her attitude that puts her above the rest. She would open her first shop at 7am while others opened at 8am. And despite her success, she's never given herself a raise! She puts all of the profits back into the business in order to expand.

7 Questions on Growing Social Enterprises in Vietnam



Nuru Energy: Renewable and Non-Solar

Kerosene is the primary source of light for over a billion people on the planet. Its fumes can cause health problems for those that use it frequently (sometimes children, studying after dark), and the long-run costs can reach a quarter of a family’s income.

Up In the Caucasus: Photos of History in the Making

From Azerbaijan, another photo blog!  This time, no politics, no opinions - just spectacular views of one of the best regions on the planet.  Photos from the northern towns of Sheki, Zaqatala, Qax, and a couple from Georgia.

Vietnam? More like VietNOM: A Streetfood Photojournal

As someone who loves to eat, you have no idea how happy I was when I found out I was placed in Hanoi for my Kiva Fellowship. Vietnam has some of the absolute best food in the world.

The Road West: 36 Photos of Life in Azerbaijan

Having lived here for three months now, it's easy to forget how oblivious I was of this country before I arrived.  Few even know where Azerbaijan is on a map. You (just about every one of you) has never and probably will never see this place

Sisterhood Through Solar Power

The most compelling benefit of microfinance and the reason I was drawn to the Kiva fellowship is its potential to empower the most vulnerable people around the world, particularly women.

The Curse of Diamond Mining in Sierra Leone

The website of a foreign-owned diamond mining company in Sierra Leone states, "Our Diamonds Doing Good: Follow our progress as we demonstrate that responsible and sustainable diamond mining can - and will - elevate and empower the people, the economy, and the country of Sierra Leone."

During my second week in Sierra Leone as a Kiva Fellow, I visited Kono district where this company - among others - bases its operations, and if this trip has taught me anything, it is that there is little evidence that diamond mining has brought any positive changes to the local community, or even has the best intentions of doing so in the future.

A diamond mining pit in Kono district in Sierra Leone

Tajikistan: Kiva Cooks Vegetarian Samosas

Tajik samosas filled with wild greens


Introducing the Newest Student-Borrowers in South Africa!



These students are in their second year of college at the Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. They will graduate with a Bachelor's in Business Administration in 2015.

As you can see, they had fun taking pictures for their Kiva profiles!

The ladies took the task very seriously. They dressed to impress and made last minute touch-ups to their hair and make-up. And then there was the posing…it was a Kiva photo shoot!

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