Mar 27, 2014 MZ Mozambique

Carlos, a single father to a chronically-ill child, is building a house with his Kiva loan so he can start a small store in his home.
When I lend on Kiva, I want to support a budding entrepreneur, someone that shows innovation in their small-scale business, has big dreams and is now able to run after them. I like to imagine that as a Kiva lender, I am a small part of a catalytic process that opens the floodgates to the borrower’s success. I lend because I want to do something selfless, however when it comes to... Continue Reading >>


Mar 25, 2014 US United States

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Julio and William, second-time Kiva Zip borrowers from Los Angeles.  Within a few minutes, I could see how warm, dedicated and hardworking they are.  They are committed to their families, their business and their Kiva Zip lenders.  I'm excited (and honored) to share their story with you.    
Julio & William  
Julio first moved to the United States from El Salvador to escape civil war and build something better for his family.  His son, William, trained... Continue Reading >>


Mar 25, 2014 IN India

All across India, women are taking an active role in creating better living standards for their families. Far from any cosmopolitan city, the village of Anawal is located in a rural area of the Bagalkot District, north of Karnataka in India.  Similar to other local villages, Anawal has a population of few hundred families striving to make a living in the harsh conditions of a hot semi-arid climate and working mainly in the nearby agricultural fields. This is where I met a wonderful group of women, who, with the help of the local NGO Future Greens Samsthe and MicroGraam, learned... Continue Reading >>


Mar 19, 2014 US United States

I heard a lot of great things about Oregon before moving here for the Kiva Fellowship: it's beautiful, no shortage of live music and local food, Portland is where all the “coolest” people from San Francisco eventually move… However, as I set out to get to know Kiva’s existing Trustees (partners that make our work possible in and around the Portland area) I was not expecting the immense amount of enthusiasm and excitement for our work, community, and the Kiva Zip program. In just 11 months since the posting of the first Kiva Zip loan in Oregon, this incredible network has funded over $... Continue Reading >>


Mar 17, 2014 EC Ecuador

I'm currently reading Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath book. There's a section about London's response to the German blitzkrieg of 1940. Churchill and the rest of the government were worried that people would panic when the expected attack came. Psychiatric hospitals were set up in preparation for the mental casualties and an underground tunnel system was proposed. But when the attacks arrived, Londoners responded almost indifferently. Some claim it's a result of British stoicism but those are probably only British claims. Regardless of the personality traits, the British persevered,... Continue Reading >>


Mar 16, 2014 ID Indonesia

Ruma agents working at their shop (warung)
Many people have no doubt heard of the success of mobile banking in Kenya through M-PESA, a service that has expanded financial services to millions of rural East Africans.  In the East Asia and Pacific region, 55% of the population is unbanked.  At the same time, mobile phones are widespread – which begs the question: what is the holding the region back from experiencing a similar revolution in banking access?

The most apparent...

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Mar 16, 2014 BF Burkina Faso

Maboudou, 27, was one of the first graduate students to fund his studies with Micro Start through a Kiva loan of $4,250
I’m currently working with the partner Micro Start, a microfinance institution based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. They are one of the few in West Africa offering a loan product to college students. Since 2012, they have been piloting this product with a graduate school of public works based in Ouagadougou. So how does this work? The school identifies high-achieving, responsible students in the 2-... Continue Reading >>


Mar 14, 2014 SL Sierra Leone

Two years ago, back in Dublin, I hatched a plan to become a Kiva Fellow. In Africa, if at all possible. To make the dream stick, I enrolled in a development work preparatory course held on weekends in an old Georgian building. “First will come the honeymoon period,” the facilitator warned, in a class on cultural immersion. “Then culture shock, then adaptation. Finally, when you return home, there will be some reverse culture shock.” The dream stuck and the plan worked out. I have been working in Sierra Leone as a Kiva Fellow since February, helping the microfinance operations of BRAC... Continue Reading >>


Mar 11, 2014 ZM Zambia

After three weeks in the field, I’ve just completed my ten Borrower Verifications for Kiva’s Field Partner, Zoona. I’ve traveled from the capital city, Lusaka, as far north as the Tanzania border at Nakonde, and as far south as Victoria Falls in Livingstone. With at least 3,000 km behind me, and 100+ hours in the field visiting with the entrepreneurs at the very heart of Kiva’s mission, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible and resilient individuals, and had the privilege of hearing their stories. What has made Kiva’s platform so compelling and successful is the power of... Continue Reading >>


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