Steve Isaacs

Steve is originally from the UK, but moved across the Atlantic in 2011 and has been living and working in Chicago for the past 3 years. After graduating from the University of Bristol with a degree in Mathematics, he began his career as a derivatives trader working for a leading financial services firm, and has subsequently worked in London, Amsterdam and Chicago. Alongside his professional career, Steve is actively engaged in the Chicago community, serving on the boards of two local non-profit organizations. Steve has always loved travel, photography and adventure, and his own personal highlights have included trekking in the Himalayas, sailing to Antarctica and camping in the Serengeti. Following previous voluntary roles in Tanzania and Guatemala, he is excited to have the opportunity to serve as a Kiva Fellow in Kenya and apply his expertise in finance and economics while continuing to learn about the on-the-ground realities of international development.

Fellows Blog Posts by Steve Isaacs

Jul 25, 2014 KE Kenya

On a recent trip out of Nairobi, we arrived in Eldama Ravine, a small town of around 15,000 people in Kenya's Rift Valley Province.  On our arrival we were greeted by Benson, the local loan officer for SMEP Microfinance Bank, who proudly walked us down Eldama Ravine's main street, into a building containing a general store and an education center, and up two flights of stairs to a small office overlooking the busy local market. That morning Benson was just beginning his second day in SMEP's newest branch, and despite a lack of electricity and furniture, he was proud to finally have a... Continue Reading >>


Jul 8, 2014 KE Kenya

Last week I travelled to Nakuru, a town to the northwest of Nairobi in Kenya's Rift Valley Province, about three hours away by matatu.  Matatus are the predominant mode of transport in Kenya and while they lack a few comforts - leg room, air conditioning, suspension, and any limit on the number of people that will attempt to fit inside one simultaneously - they have the benefits of being cheap, efficient and reliable, and handle Kenya's potholed roads reasonably well.  
Jackline and her clothing business in Keringet...
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Jul 2, 2014 KE Kenya

After completing Kiva Fellows Training in San Francisco, and moving my last few possessions into storage in Chicago, it was time to make the 8000 mile journey to Nairobi and start my fellowship!  With the exception of some visa troubles at the airport in Chicago, the journey went relatively simply and smoothly; I passed the time pretty effectively with a combination of in-flight movies, coffee and snacks in Amsterdam en route, and reading my new book on my new Kindle.  The book, The International Bank of Bob, was written by a Kiva-enthusiast who travelled the world meeting... Continue Reading >>