kiva1varick

Fellows Blog Posts by kiva1varick

Sep 12, 2012 KE Kenya

Varick Schwartz | KF18 | Kenya

Kiva profile photo from mobile app

Juhudi loan officer using mobile app to capture Kiva profile info

When I applied to the Kiva Fellows program, I knew I’d be spending some time ‘in the field’, but I didn’t know I’d be out there...

Continue Reading >>


Aug 30, 2012 KE Kenya

My Fellowship workplan has been focused a little more on the technical side of things, with more application programming and appraisal analysis than borrower verifications. From such projects, and also because I come from a banking, lending and risk management background, it seems fitting to at least put forth some observations regarding the use of credit scores across the Kenya micro landscape. However, the way we approach credit scoring in the USA is almost opposite from current practices here, where aggregated financial data at the individual level could still be years away.

Such...

Continue Reading >>


Jul 29, 2012 KE Kenya

Milk & Fur Trader

Kenya’s got milk alright, and it’s a good thing, because just like good ol’ USA and Starbucks, I’m not sure what people here would do without their twice daily milk tea!  Milk is big business; an integral part of Kenya’s expanding agricultural sector.

I just returned from Eldoret and the Kerio Valley and while there, I shot video footage for a new cooling plant loan product at my MFI, Juhudi Kilimo, who specializes in...

Continue Reading >>


Jun 29, 2012 KE Kenya

Varick Schwartz | KF18 | Kenya

As I walk down the dusty, traffic-choked streets of Nairobi on my way to work, I feel the stress melting away.  Another cool morning; Kenyans all around wearing coats and sweaters to fend off ‘winter.’ I’m fine in a light shirt, having grown accustomed to ‘summer’ in San Francisco.

The warmth of the people here is part of the reason that it’s easy for me to release stress, to allow immersion within conditions so different. Smiles beget smiles, for the most part. No one is in a hurry; I haven’t...

Continue Reading >>