Jul 16, 2015 AM Armenia

Two years ago, Armen took out a loan of $1,625 for his business and since he has just repaid his final installment last month, I decided to pay him a visit to hear about his experience using Kiva. Armen is a fishmonger in Yerevan where he sells trout and sturgeon from the freshwaters of Armenia’s many beautiful rivers and lakes. Armen is an incredibly hard working man and adds real value to his business by preparing delicious fish dinners for take away. Khorovats is the national dish of Armenia and involves barbecuing fish or meats on skewers, served with potatoes, aubergines and sweet... Continue Reading >>

Jul 15, 2015 CO Colombia

Photocredit Miguel Olaya @flickr
At every major turnpike in Medellin there’s a sign that reads, “Nuestra Nueva Medellin” (our new Medellin), part of a larger national campaign aimed at improving Colombia’s image. Happy-go-lucky posters of smiling families and couples on bike rides with words like ‘sostenible’ or ‘saludable’ adorn subway stations and public plazas. And perhaps they’re paying off, in the last six months alone travel junkies from... Continue Reading >>

Jul 14, 2015 US United States

When I walked into A Tran's Bay Bike Shop, I was greeted by brightly painted signs, plants  and murals. The entire shop was covered in floor-to-ceiling designs, with bright whirls of color and whimsical figures pedaling their way through a beautiful, enchanted world.
Tammy with a few of the new bikes she purchased with her Kiva Zip loan
Welcome to the shop!
Tammy, the owner of A Tran's Bay Bike Shop, is extremely proud of her shop—she... Continue Reading >>

Jul 13, 2015 MX Mexico

María Lucas at home in her embroidery studio in El Valerio.
Hortensia and I trudge up the winding dirt path toward a steep hillside dotted with tiny concrete homes. Clotheslines strung with brightly-colored skirts and shirts bake in the midday Mexican sun. A faded Coca-Cola sign instructs us to ¨¡refrescate ya!¨ for six pesos. Three turkeys strut by, gobbling hello, and a donkey quietly munches on some grass.   At the top of the hill, we reach a three-room house with a tin roof and a washing latrine out... Continue Reading >>

Jul 13, 2015 ML Mali

Safoura is a 46-year-old woman who lives in Dieli, a small village in rural Mali. After losing her husband 12 years ago, she became a single mother of 7 children. She knows life can be challenging.  As a kid, she could only attend primary school. She realizes that this has limited her opportunities a lot. That’s why she does everything within her power to make sure her kids can go to school.   Ever since she was little, Safoura has been buying and reselling groceries, just like her mother did. She buys rice, onions, spaghetti, fruits and grains in bulk, at a market about 50 km away... Continue Reading >>

Jul 10, 2015 GT Guatemala

Mari Cruz is an energetic, friendly, and dynamic 41-year-old woman. About fifteen years ago, she decided to open her own restaurant and took out her first loan to purchase tables and chairs. One year later, Mari Cruz started her own tortillería – a tortilla bakery. Tortillas are served with every meal in Guatemala, so it was better for her restaurant when she had freshly made tortilla from her tortillería. Mari Cruz has continued to take out Kiva loans to grow and improve her businesses. Through her loans, Mari Cruz now has running water (she used to have to carry buckets of water to her... Continue Reading >>

Jul 9, 2015 US United States

Summer school is in session! I know what you’re thinking - “Summer school? Sounds like a drag.” The ear-to-ear smiles on these five, six, and seven year-old students’ faces would make you question all of your preconceived notions of summer school. Charmaine (known as Ms. Moses when she walks through the sunflower yellow door) gives these students plenty to smile about, ensuring a balance of education, playtime and the always underrated nap time.
Ms. Moses in front of the sunflower yellow door
Charmaine and her husband... Continue Reading >>

Jul 6, 2015 US United States

Terry needed a printer, a website, more sergers and sewing machines, and cutting mats for her MKE Fashion Incubator. It is a creative venue where she offers private lessons, public classes, and workshops in sewing, alterations, hemming, and sergers using as well as co-working space for other aspiring designers. Iris had a business plan for her home-based sewing and crochet business Virtuous By Design (VBD). She was hoping to purchase professional sewing machines and supplies to grow her sewing services. She also wanted some capital to develop her branding and website.... Continue Reading >>

Jul 6, 2015 US United States

Blair, a successful Kiva Zip borrower, microloan evangelist, and bug expert.
If you see a bug in your house, do you reach for a can of Raid? Blair Leano-Helvey, a Kiva Zip borrower in Louisville, KY, wants you to know there’s a better solution. Better for you and your family, better for the planet, and better for small business. If you see a bug in your house, she wants you to…buy more bugs.

For the past several years, Blair has run Entomology Solutions, a company that “...

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Jun 23, 2015 UA Ukraine

United?.....No. My one-on-one interactions with people across the country, has borne out what some reports on Ukraine state. There are strong and divergent sentiments among different regions and communities. A simplistic analysis may state that the Ukrainians are mainly divided along linguistic or geographical lines – this is not the case on the ground.
   ... Continue Reading >>