Stories tagged with loans

Mar 3, 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... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 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...

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Mar 3, 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... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 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... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 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... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2014 GO Global Update, US United States
Ezequiel Olvera was just 11 years old when he first met Alfredo, a cobbler and small-business owner in Los Angeles. Even at that young age, Ezequiel already had the entrepreneurial bug and approached Alfredo to ask if he could put a gumball machine in Alfredo’s shoe repair shop.  Alfredo agreed, as long as Ezequiel maintained good grades. Ezequiel held up his end of the bargain and he continued to place gumball and...
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Feb 2, 2014 US United States

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 >>
Feb 2, 2014 UG Uganda
Christine teaches me to eat jackfruit.


As Christine cut through a Jackfruit from a tree outside her mother’s home, I couldn’t help thinking about spare parts. I had just interviewed Christine following the completion of her Kiva loan to expand her automotive spare parts store in Uganda, and something about the concept of spare parts kept firing away in the back of my mind. As she showed me how to eat the enormous fruit, by cutting away smaller pieces and pulling out the seeds, I realized spare parts are... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2014 MZ Mozambique

 

"It's so beautiful!" Dona Elsa stood in awe of the photo I just took of her. 

Dona Elsa isn't used to being in photos, and she is especially not used to smiling in photos.  When I asked if I could take her picture, her first instinct was to stand with arms by her side; a serious, pensive look on her face without a shadow of a smile in sight.  Before taking the picture, I asked her to smile and she timidly obliged.  

I took the picture and showed her the outcome on the tiny LCD screen of the digital... Continue Reading >>

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