How is Kiva Zip, a direct lending program based on the internet and mobile money transfers, working without the aid of micro-finance institutions on the ground? It begins with and is upheld by one important group of individuals: local community members we train to be trustees.As we near our two year anniversary and celebrate our climbing repayment rate, now at 92%, we would like to honor our top-performing partners through a series of... Continue Reading >>
Stories from Kenya
Earlier this month Kiva Zip celebrated a milestone of having disbursed its 1,000th loan to entrepreneurs in Kenya. What is unique about the Kiva Zip model is that it is a direct, person-to-person lending platform with 0% interest loans and no fees for the borrowers (learn more here!). We are very excited about the tremendous progress we have made and about the improvements we continue to make that allow us to better serve our borrowers, Trustees, and lenders.
Kiva Zip targets entrepreneurs with very small businesses and who can benefit from a loan as small as $50-$100...Continue Reading >>
Before I became a Kiva Fellow I was only an occassional lender with some dangerous assumptions about Kiva borrowers. These assumptions perpetuated my ignorance of borrower's creativity and business prowess. More importantly, they limited me from increasing my lending portfolio and thus limiting my impact on people's lives.
It has taken me 2 months in Kenya to... Continue Reading >>
If you are privileged enough to visit Nairobi, you can decide to approach the city out of fear and simply visit the airport, hotels, and expat bars.The other more rewarding option is to enjoy the vibrancy and rich culture of Nairobi (aka "Silicon Savannah") by using public transportation to navigate the capitol.
Make sure to remember a few things to lower your chances of over-paying, getting lost...Continue Reading >>
The media hype may be winding down but many of us here in Kenya are still shaken by the Westgate terrorist attack. While my own experience may not be as compelling as those in the news, it has left me with a deeper compassion for those who live in constant fear.
Early...Continue Reading >>
Are tablets a practical solution to rural microfinance operations?
This is the big question I am working to answer during my 4 months in beautiful Kenya. This appears to be a simple question with an obvious answer. However, after traveling over 1000 kilometers in one week throughout urban and rural Kenya, I have learned about the obstacles that will make tabletizing Kiva... Continue Reading >>
“The coast is different,” my regular taxi driver had told me. “People aren’t as stressed out, and they enjoy life.”
It was true. Maybe it was the lingering humidity or the pristine beaches, but people sauntered through the streets in Mombasa as though to fill the senses with the salty air... Continue Reading >>
“I’m here for awhile,” I reply. “I’m working with a company that helps people get loans.”
Not surprisingly,...Continue Reading >>
Kenneth holds up his kerosene lantern and proudly says, “I won’t need this one anymore!” He wipes the dust off the table and asks us to sit down. We follow his offer and start listening to his story....Continue Reading >>
Kiva Coordinators are my kind of hero; it looks like a data entry job, however it’s the perfect training for juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities. They make sure that boring loan and interview forms and loose photos are translated into the real life stories we see on the Kiva... Continue Reading >>