Maryse Gbeassor

Maryse is a Canadian-born to Togolese parents and she grew up in Lomé from age 5 to 17. After that, she went to college in Montreal and graduated of Business Administration from HEC Montreal. Maryse is a Director in Transaction Services at PwC Montreal with 12 years of in-depth experience in financial due diligence for mergers and acquisitions transactions, project management and auditing for the private sector. From 2007 to 2011, she has successfully completed two long-term assignments within PwC (Boston, USA and Milan, Italy). She is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Quebec) and she holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Maryse has been exposed to development issues through her childhood in Togo and her involvement with CAUSE Canada, an international relief and development agency. She wishes to use her skills to contribute to sustainable development efforts. She strongly believes that one effective way to alleviate poverty is by empowering women through financial inclusion, enabling them to improve their quality of life and feel hopeful and confident about the future. As such, Maryse is delighted for the opportunity to get a unique insider experience into the microfinance industry as a Kiva fellow, particularly in West Africa.

Fellows Blog Posts by Maryse Gbeassor

Apr 17, 2014 GO Global Update

Paynesville south - suburb of Monrovia, Liberia
I have just realized that my definition of poverty has evolved over the past 6 months as I have gotten to know my host countries and have met with various people in different communities. Poverty is not always the lack of resources to enjoy a minimum standard of life and well-being, provided that how one assesses that is anything but straightforward. Sometimes, it’s also the unwillingness to take advantages of opportunities that could improve one’s life conditions because... Continue Reading >>


Mar 16, 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 students in the 2-... Continue Reading >>


Feb 12, 2014 GO Global Update

I had long known that midway through my volunteering in Senegal, I would be spending 3 weeks in December in Monrovia, Liberia for borrower verification. I wasn’t sure what to expect of a country that had gone through over a decade of civil wars up to 2003 but I was willing to take up the challenge, after all it was only for 3 weeks. Little did I know how much such a short stay will stretch me out of my comfort zone and make me question my sanity. Before I started this Kiva fellowship, I’ve heard many times you can never be prepared enough, now I get it!
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Jan 15, 2014 SN Senegal

I have wanted to visit Dakar for many years. My mom for one, who did her undergraduate studies here in the 1970s, absolutely loved it and I grew up eating Tchiep (fish and rice dish) at my birthdays. And similar to Kenya in East Africa or South Africa in the South, Senegal is well known and probably the most visited country in West Africa due to its reasonably stability, beaches and several points of interest including some UNESCO World heritage sites (Gorée island, St-Louis, etc.). Many times I’ve looked at flights that would include Dakar in the itinerary (from Montreal) for the frequent... Continue Reading >>


Jan 3, 2014 SN Senegal

First and foremost, happy New Year 2014! Wishing you all a wonderful and fulfilling year!! Quite a memorable New Year’s Eve in Dakar, watching impromptu fireworks from the top floor of my residence…   I’ve been meaning to post this dance video for quite some time now. November 2013 was the month I re-discovered Baaba Maal (I was at 2 of his concerts in Dakar!). His name may resonate with some. For world music fans, especially Senegalese traditional music and the sabar dance, Youssou N’Dour and Baaba Maal are certainly the most popular.   I learnt about the first concert,... Continue Reading >>