Kate Bennett

Prior to working with Kiva, Kate lived in Quito, Ecuador working in environmental management as a consultant for USAID implementing partners in the global south. After earning her B.A. in Political Economy, Postcolonial History, and Development from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in January 2010, she pursued a practice-based understanding of effective tools in development through work with New York based social change organizations and grassroots nonprofit organizations in Guatemala. Kate worked previously with Kiva as a Kiva Fellow in Ecuador and Peru, which fomented her commitment to microfinance as a tool for poverty alleviation.

Fellows Blog Posts by Kate Bennett

Oct 28, 2011 PE Peru

By Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

When I arrived in famous Nazca, Peru last week to complete some borrower visits, my mind was not on the celebrated and mysterious Nazca Lines but on the mystery of Caja Rural Señor de Luren borrower Gaby, who repaid her entire loan a mere month after disbursement.

I was checking in on Gaby’s loan as part of my borrower verification (BV) for Kiva Partner Caja Rural. The borrower verification item on a Kiva Fellow’s workplan always has us feeling anxious. One of the BV’s key objectives...

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Oct 27, 2011 PE Peru

Night falls on the beach in Southwestern Perú

By Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

I spent last week at the beach. But from my resiliently pasty skin, you wouldn’t have guessed it. For better or worse, I wasn’t in Camaná, Perú to suntan and lay by the ocean, but in fact to visit borrowers with Kiva Field Partner Caja Rural Señor de Luren. Camaná was founded in 1539 under the name “Villa Hermosa de...

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Oct 24, 2011 BO Bolivia

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

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Want a fresh look at Kiva clients on-the-ground? This week fellows share stories and mixed-media that bring us directly into the cities, homes and pulperías of borrowers. From the marketplace in Bolivia, to the streets of Guayaquil, to the dumps of Kenya, we learn about the challenges of working in developing countries and the strategies loan officers...

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Oct 17, 2011

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF16, Peru

Doña Martina with her cow near La Paz, Bolivia. By Eric Rindal, KF16

This week Fellows look at the questions surrounding microfinance, or perhaps more specifically, Kiva-style microfinance: what is Christian microfinance in Rwanda? Where are these borrower profiles actually coming from? What is the everyday mentality of a Kiva micro-borrower? What’s this about Field Partners in the...

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Sep 5, 2011 KH Cambodia

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

At the Gambian Horse and Donkey Trust, Saloum runs the Donkey Project and cares passionately about both local development and his long-earred charges. By Tim Young

Over the course of their fellowship, each Kiva Fellows class gleans a better understanding of innerworkings of microfinance and how a microfinance institution (MFI) can tip the scales of success. We begin...

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Aug 29, 2011 CL Chile

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

by John Gwillim, Colombia

Each Kiva borrower enjoys his or her own borrower profile page. We’ve all seen these pages: they acquaint us with the borrower’s story, plans for the future, country, and a photo in their business or home. Borrower profiles present us with a clear snapshot of the ebbs and flows of a borrower’s life. But how can we begin to...

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Aug 24, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Kate Bennett (KF15)

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Small business owners in Ecuador, like Marcia Suqui in the video above, can use their microloans to move forward with their businesses and improve their quality of life. After all, this is the idea driving Kiva- that small loans can change lives. But not all small loans can improve a business owner’s standing, because the darker side of the “little loan” market in Ecuador is...

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Aug 10, 2011 EC Ecuador

This is the second post in a series following Kiva borrower Ana Victoria. For the first post, and a look at the fine art of cooking quimbolitos, check out “Ana’s Kitchen: A Cooking Lesson in Quimbolitos.”

“The stove, the gas, the vegetables, the meat, the pots, and tools, clean water… I have a lot of expenses in my business.” Not to mention the considerable time and energy that la Doña Ana Victoria expends making a batch of her delicious tamales. Though she has many costs, Ana makes a fairly steady stream of...

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Aug 8, 2011

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

'This week in the field, Fellows share some candid insights on life and microcredit in-country. You can ride on Carolyn’s motorcycle in Rwanda; pass through impoverished neighborhoods of Managua, Nicaragua; measure the impact of Ramadan on a nation’s micro-enterprises; take a look at the real inter-workings of a “needs test” in Cameroon...

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Jul 25, 2011 CM Cameroon

Compiled by Kate Bennett, KF15, Ecuador

GHAPE (Grounded and Holistic Approach for People’s Empowerment) representative conducts Basic Needs Test interview in Bafut, Cameroon

Last week the Fellows Blog gave us glimpses into life on the ground for Kiva fellows, Kiva borrowers, and that unique moment when those lives are brought together by a Kiva loan! Whether riding in Daniel’s bush taxi on the way to work in South Africa,...

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