Jul 3, 2014 KV Kiva HQ
By Tess Murphy
American Entrepreneurs Dare to Dream this Independence Day
If you’re from the United States or live in the States, you’re likely gearing up to celebrate the Fourth of July tomorrow. After the fireworks are set off and the meat is on the BBQ, it’ll be time to reflect on what this holiday means for Americans. As many know, the day memorializes the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, over two hundred years ago. Today, and every day at Kiva, we celebrate the freedom and independence of our borrowers and their pursuit of the ‘American Dream.’ The ‘American Dream’ is actually a universal dream, that anyone-regardless of gender, race, social class, religion, or origin- can succeed with enough hard work and perseverance. Through Kiva Zip, lenders can directly support borrowers in the pursuit of their dreams.

One Kiva Zip borrower, Gregory, is a military veteran, and the Founder/CEO of PatriotMove, a business providing modern relocation support to military servicemembers and families. With this next Kiva Zip loan, he plans to hire a military spouse who can provide communication and outreach to the community through blogs, tools and supplemental information. Gregory “can't wait to get out into the world and begin helping service members and their families.”

Another Zip Borrower, Garrison, is the founder of Hollywood Livestock, a forage-based, sustainable farm in Louisiana that allows consumers to know where their meat comes from. The Kiva Zip loan will help him set up a main barn on their newly acquired land that will give proper facilities, storage and help increase production. Businesses like Garrisons are part of a larger movement that focuses on ethically raising animals while promoting environmental stability. Kiva Zip entrepreneurs’ dreams are socially-minded, so as their businesses flourish so do their communities at large.

Also concerned with her community’s long-term development is Tina, an elementary school teacher turned entrepreneur. After finding traditional teaching settings to be limiting, she founded Emaginations, an after-school center based in New Jersey, where kids can ‘think outside the box’ through innovative activities allowing children to work together and think creatively with hands-on projects. Tina’s next loan will allow her to expand her business by traveling to other communities to set up similar programs. “My dream is to transform the mindset of every child that walks through the doors of Emaginations. I want every child to know that all they need they already possess. They just have to realize how powerful they are and take a chance on designing their lives, and dare to achieve their goals.”

Daring to dream is a mantra on Kiva and one that resonates with many celebrating this 4th of July. Take a few minutes this holiday weekend to mark this Independence Day by helping a borrower who is working hard to pursue their American dream.


Hello Tess, Im Guy-roger from south africa and I would love for you to be my Kiva trustee. I've tried my best to join a non -profit microfinaince group such as Kiva but it seems impossible. my father and I are trying to raise funds for our new family business and we would love to help friends, family and local individuals ones we get that break through let alone manage to make ends meet. I'm appealing to you since I search Kiva zip and all and found that you or one of if not the only Kiva fellower to come to South Africa. It would be an honor and pleasure if you could be our Kiva trustee if applicable. please do help by any means and my God Bless you greatly. its best to reply to me on my email address since i may not be active on Kiva and sometime's online Yours sincerely, Guy-roger

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After graduating from Fordham University with a B.A. in Political Science and French, Tess decided to book a one-way flight to Asia, volunteering as she traveled. She found that the best way to close the gap between what she saw and the people back home was the share these experiences through writing blogs. Tess saw how local businesses can help improve the lives of the community while preserving their cultural traditions. She described how Cambodian farmers, Vietnamese teachers and Malaysian artists all have similar ambitions to their American counterparts. People everywhere want to succeed and technology helps connect these ambitions. After finishing her travels, Tess joined the Marketing Team at Kiva as an intern, where she focused on the inspiring stories behind each borrower. Behind the amount of the loan is an enriching story about that entrepreneur’s life. By shedding light on these stories to lenders, Tess saw how relatable stories can help drive enterprise. After completing her forthcoming fellowship in Zimbabwe and South Africa, Tess hopes to continue a development and content driven career in social enterprise.

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