rm0506

Fellows Blog Posts by rm0506

Oct 22, 2010 SL Sierra Leone

By Becky Myers, KF12, Sierra Leone

Illiteracy and a lack of basic business skills are one of the primary reasons why many economic activities fail.  In Sierra Leone, illiteracy rates hover around  71% for females and 48% for males, one of the worst in the world.  Basic business skills of many entrepreneurs are also largely lacking.  Interviewing borrowers reveals that a majority commingle business transactions with personal activities.  Many times, business transactions are tracked mentally, translating to unknown sales, expenses and, crucially, profit.   Under these...

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Sep 2, 2010 SL Sierra Leone

By Becky Myers, Kiva Fellow, Sierra Leone

For the past few weeks in Sierra Leone, I have spent time working with my microfinance organization to explore potential commercial loans.  In today’s financial environment, where grants can fluctuate wildly and loans like Kiva’s are a rare gem, the organization is focused on scaling up its business.  Unmet demand for microfinance services is quite large here in Sierra Leone.  It is estimated that 300,000 potential clients exist throughout the country, and microfinance organizations have only reached 90,000 clients.  And competition...

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Aug 12, 2010 SL Sierra Leone

By Becky Myers, KF12, Sierra Leone

Shuttling around Freetown, Sierra Leone, provides an immediate sense of the city’s vibe.  The west side of town houses a cluster of NGO’s, government aid organizations and UN offices.  The east side of town is home to row after row of tightly packed residential buildings and is by far the most populated area of the city.  The downtown area consists of The Bank of Sierra Leone, The Houses of Parliament and various other government offices.  This busy central district is also where most Sierra Leonean businesses operate, including ARD, a...

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