Stories tagged with Kenya

Jul 7, 2010 KE Kenya

Jenny Jin, KF11

This past weekend I had the opportunity to check out one of KADET’s new loan products: solar loans!

A backstory of how solar is coming on strong in Kenya

Many of KADET’s borrowers live in off-grid rural areas without access to electricity or gas.  Charcoal and kerosene are still the most common form of power for average Kenyans to power their homes and businesses. Indeed, a number of KADET borrowers that I’ve met have small businesses of selling charcoal.

In recent years, several...

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Jul 7, 2010 KE Kenya

By Robert Karanja

KF 11, Kenya

In the last two years, the development of mobile money transfers has grown by leaps and bounds in Kenya and today almost every major bank has developed a mobile money product or is in the process of launching one. This represents the next frontier in the provision of banking services to a population that was previously completely left out of the banking system. Dare I say it, Kenya leads the world in mobile banking innovation. Here is why…..

Safaricom the country’s largest mobile service provider with over 15 million...

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Jul 7, 2010 KE Kenya
Jenny Jin, KF11 – Kenya

Dorice is the newest Kiva assistant coordinator for KADET, the Kenyan microfinance partner that I’ve been working with through my Kiva Fellowship.  Dorice is new to KADET’s Kiva Operations team but she’s been with KADET for years, and has been a real source of inspiration and fun for the staff and past Kiva Fellows with her passion to help others and her social personality.  A week ago, I asked Dorice whether she’d be interested to introduce herself to the Kiva community on the blog, and she wrote a...

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Jun 6, 2010 KE Kenya

By Steve Grey, KF11, Kenya

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In this 3.5 minute video, see what it’s like to spend the day with a loan officer from one of Kiva’s lending partners.  Hanifa Seme (Credit Officer with Small and Micro Enterprise Programme in Kenya) and Steve Grey (Kiva Fellow) walk “The Pipeline”, a densely populated urban area in Kitengela just outside Nairobi, Kenya.  They meet with 9 potential...

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Jun 6, 2010 KE Kenya

by Robert Karanja, KF 11, Kenya

Joe Biden, US Vice President visited Kenya in early June 2010. This visit holds lots of weight for the people of Kenya as Mr. Biden is the 2nd highest ranking US Government official after our favourite son – President Barack Obama.

Mr. Biden’s message was very clear as an emissary of President Obama. Reforms are ongoing in Kenya and the fact that a referendum to adopt a new constitution is right round the corner – August 4 says lots about the visit to Kenya.

In any event, Kenya remains a very strategic...

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Jun 6, 2010 KE Kenya

Jenny Jin, KF11- Kenya

It’s an exciting time to be in Nairobi, Kenya right now – especially for anyone who’s interested in development.  This city is filled with passionate locals and expats who are working on social enterprises, green companies, and tech startups of all different perspectives and approaches to tackle big challenges.  I arrived in Nairobi six weeks ago after living in Silicon Valley for the past three years, and I found a city even more energetic about innovation than where I had come from.

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Jun 6, 2010 KE Kenya

By Jeremy Gordon, KF11, Kenya

“People like us can’t get a loan. You have to be a member of a group with an influential person in it—we don’t know anyone like that.”
- Rama

The second day I passed him on my way to work, a man on a bright red and chrome boda boda (motorbike) befriended me. Rama is not a Kiva entrepreneur, and though he has been in this business for just over a year and a half, he rents his bike daily. He’ll spend the full retail price of a new motorbike every year in rental fees.

Before I left Mombasa, I asked Rama if...

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May 5, 2010 KE Kenya

By Steve Grey, KF11, Kenya

“One of the borrowers on this list, Helida, passed away last month.”

Those words hit me like a punch in the stomach.  I was in Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria to work with Kisumu Medical & Education Trust (K-MET), one of Kiva’s lending partners in Kenya.  K-MET is different than most microfinance institutions.  Started in 1996, its mission is to provide quality reproductive health services to the poor through a network of over 450 volunteer community-based health workers.  Since the health workers are volunteers, and often poor...

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May 5, 2010 KE Kenya

By Jeremy Gordon, KF11, Kenya

Yesterday marked big news for branchless banking in Kenya. Safaricom, the company behind the highly successful mobile-money platform M-Pesa, announced its launch of a new service called M-Kesho (kesho meaning tomorrow in Swahili) allowing anyone with a cell phone to begin earning interest on their savings and even to receive a loan.

One of the things that first drew me to opt for a placement here in Kenya was the exciting innovation happening through mobile applications, where Kenya is both a pilot and a hub—pushing limits, and...

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May 5, 2010 KE Kenya

By Jeremy Gordon, KF11, Kenya

Kiva’s success is exciting.  A door is now open allowing us to reach those living in places we can’t easily visit in person and to become personally involved in micro-finance.  Making my first loan on Kiva felt a bit like a rediscovery of the internet. International Skype conversations were impressive, but this was something novel—Kiva allowed me to lend my own resources to help achieve someone else’s goal, and I was hooked.

Because this sort of P2P lending is still new, we can’t yet know the full extent of its impact on the...

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