It was early Thursday morning, and I was in Kibera on a borrower visit with one of our trustees and two other Fellows. It was around 10AM when I take out my phone to check the time. I see a text from my sister asking if I know anyone in Garissa. Garissa? Why would she be asking me about a random city in Kenya? I shut my phone thinking I’ll respond later so...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with Kiva Zip
One of the highlights of the Kiva Fellowship is the opportunity to live somewhere far from home and learn about a new culture. I've met dozens of Kiva Zip trustees and borrowers during my three months in Kenya and unexpectedly forged a strong connection with one in particular. I first met Joseph* when he visited the Kiva office for a trustee interview. Joseph has an extensive background of community development and now continues his work as a pastor in Kenya, providing financial and educational services to his community. As a civic leader, he is a typical trustee that puts a great amount...Continue Reading >>
One of the best parts of the Kiva Fellowship is the anticipation while awaiting the location of your placement, which could be nearly anywhere Kiva loans are available. Wouldn’t it be great to stroll by the Taj Mahal on the way to work, gallop on horseback through the plains of Mongolia, or take in a sunset on a Samoan beach?
... Continue Reading >>
Resourcefulness is perhaps the most essential trait for any entrepreneur. In Nairobi’s Kibera district, the largest slum in Africa, that trait is apparent everywhere you look. In an environment where most residents earn no more than $2/day, resourcefulness is the means for survival, and entrepreneurship a vessel for hope.
Traveling around Nairobi, and Kibera in particular, evidence of this “scrappiness” permeates the sights. Security spikes made of broken shards of glass line the walls of housing compounds. Houses are quickly erected... Continue Reading >>
Kiva Zip is all about human connections. Three weeks in Nairobi and I am just amazed to witness the direct impact the Kiva Zip model is having on their borrowers and the strength of this bond of trustee-borrower-lender relationships.
This week, I met a Kiva Zip borrower, Esther. She loves and is proud of her little shop “Facebook Cereal” in TOI market area of the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Starting from ground zero twice in the last 10 years due to internal Kenya riots and personal medical...
Nowhere is the spirit of Entrepreneurship more rampant than in Gikomba market. Gikomba is the largest second-hand clothes market in East Africa. This open-air market located near the Eastleigh neighborhood of Nairobi is home to hundreds of traders. The traders are small retailers that sell second-hand clothing they purchase from larger distributers for a small profit. This is a bustling market and on any day, you can hear retailers shouting over each other trying to attract customers to their stall.
Recently the market has been plagued with multiple disasters.... 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... Continue Reading >>
“Nobody believed in me. They told me I couldn’t do it,” said Garrick, owner of Mason Catering...Continue Reading >>
Pittsburgh is so hot right now.
Not literally, since the Iron City is experiencing its harshest winter in over 20 years, but in terms of livability, affordability, and romance, Pittsburgh is going through a surge of positive media coverage for an amazing economic turnaround.
This is, in part, due to the efforts of local entrepreneurs opening new businesses in various Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Harry Geyer of The Wheel Mill is the perfect example. His vision for an indoor bike park materialized in the spring of 2013, and was helped along by a Kiva Zip loan late... Continue Reading >>
Alfredo is the owner of El Sereno Shoe Repair, a small business that has been family owned and operated in East LA for over 30 years and two generations. He’s a hardworking, old-fashioned shoe cobbler that’s dedicated to serving his community with exceptional quality and customer service.
Eighteen years ago, 11-year-old Ezequiel Olvera approached Alfredo with an ask. Ezequiel explained that he had invested in an old 10-cent gumball machine with the hope of making enough money to attend college. He asked Alfredo if he’d be willing to... Continue Reading >>