Nelly Martin

Nelly grew up in Germany and the US, studied in Scotland and has lived and worked in Norway, New York and Singapore. After graduating with a degree in Economics and International Relations from the University of St Andrews, Nelly worked for DNB Bank, primarily in the corporate banking division with a focus on energy finance. After seven years in banking, she has decided to steer her career in a new direction and is pursuing her passion in international development, an interest that took root when she volunteered in Kenya as a student. When Nelly read about the Kiva Fellows Program in the book “The International Bank of Bob”, she was immediately drawn to the idea of setting out on such an assignment. She is curious to learn about the impact of microfinance firsthand and is excited to apply her knowledge and skills in the field when she serves as a Kiva Fellow in the South Pacific.

Fellows Blog Posts by Nelly Martin

May 16, 2015 SB Solomon Islands

According to a World Bank press release published in 2014, the Solomon Islands has one of the lowest rates of electricity access in the world and some of the highest electricity prices. In rural areas, where most of the population lives, only about 6% of households are connected to the electricity grid (World Bank, 2014). I just spent the last four weeks of my Kiva Fellowship in the Solomon Islands working with Kiva’s field partner, South Pacific Business Development (SPBD), and observed this situation first-hand. As I accompanied SPBD’s field officers on their borrower visits, it was clear... Continue Reading >>


May 5, 2015 SB Solomon Islands

I love collecting seashells. Even if I don’t plan on looking for them, I rarely manage to walk along a beach without picking up a few pieces along the way. So when I arrived in the Solomon Islands and heard about “shell money”, I immediately wanted to learn more. When I subsequently found out that one of the Kiva borrowers in the Solomon Islands makes shell money, I knew I would have to try to meet her! Shell money is a traditional form of currency that was used in the Solomon Islands before bank notes were introduced. Some provinces still use shell money today, primarily for ceremonies,... Continue Reading >>


Mar 15, 2015 WS Samoa

As I approach Faleula, one of the many villages along the road that circles Samoa’s Upolu Island, I am excited and a little nervous. I am about to meet a Kiva borrower for the first time! I wonder what she will be like; will she be happy to meet me and talk about her business or will she see me as an interruption or even an intrusion. When I arrive at Mile’s general store, she greets me with a warm smile and all my reservations fade away immediately.
Mile in her store
Mile tells me that she has experienced big... Continue Reading >>