Freetown’s narrow, dusty and often unpaved streets seem to squeeze life through them at an intensity that is difficult to imagine in a ‘western city’. Rivers of people and goods spill over from makeshift sidewalks into oncoming cars and motorcycle taxis that weave in and out of each other amid an endless din of beeping horns. Hawkers hiss and suck their teeth to get your attention. Loudspeakers on an endless loop announce, “Voucher, Voucher, Top-up, Top-up, Afri-cell, Airtel, Top-up, Top-up." A man calls, “Passport photo, passport photo,” in your ear, his camera sitting idle and ready... Continue Reading >>
It was my first week as a Kiva fellow. A few weeks earlier I left training in San Francisco and my laptop was filled with PDFs and powerpoints; I had all the facts of Kiva Zip down. In my mind, I knew that this was an innovative loan product; 0% interest loans crowdfunded by lenders around the world. Oh, and did I mention that the loan was 0% interest? That was the best part of a... Continue Reading >>
I push the button and the black steel door slides across its tracks, revealing morning traffic and fallen rusty flowers from the nearby Flamboyant Tree. Every morning it’s the same, as I start my 30-minute walk to the office. For the next 2 kilometers, I wind...Continue Reading >>
“Nobody believed in me. They told me I couldn’t do it,” said Garrick, owner of Mason Catering Services.
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“Pittsburgh is going to be a model for Kiva Zip.” Evan Segal, a Pittsburgh business leader and Kiva Zip proponent, began the Kiva City Pittsburgh launch with a bold prediction. Last week, Pittsburgh became the 8th Kiva City, launching at Marty’s Market in Pittsburgh’s Strip District with over 160 attendees. The huge turnout demonstrated the potential in Segal’s promise, and Pittsburgh’s supportive, community-minded nature. “... Continue Reading >>
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 >>
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 >>