Susan Nielsen

Proudly Alaskan-born and raised, Susan has always had a natural curiosity for world-exploration and a strong sense of compassion for others. Susan attended the University of San Francisco as a University Scholar and received her B.A. in European History after spending a year in Oxford, England. Her time at USF and her subsequent years working, volunteering, and traveling abroad in various countries including Venezuela, Morocco, and Nicaragua honed her sense of social justice. During this time, Susan volunteered at an orphanage in India, earned her Master 100 Ton Captain's License, and ran a small non-profit aimed at diverting youth offenders from the juvenile justice system. Most recently, Susan worked as an Account Executive for a marketing and public relations firm in Santa Barbara, CA. Kiva’s mission embodies many of Susan’s priorities: tackling poverty with an innovative and contemporary approach that draws on human-to-human connection to empower individuals. Passionate about social justice, environmental issues, and politics, Susan is thrilled to become a Kiva Fellow and fulfill her desire to help others overcome adversity. Susan spends her free time playing outside, reading, dancing, cooking, practicing yoga, and playing with her dog.

Fellows Blog Posts by Susan Nielsen

May 5, 2014 US United States

It takes a lot of ambition and resources to follow a passion and create a business from scratch. Typically, the entrepreneurial world is dominated by men.  Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Professor of Business Psychology at University College of London, has observed that there are more men taking on entrepreneurial enterprises because they generally have easier access to sources of capital and are less risk-averse than women.

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Mar 28, 2014 US United States

Evan Segal looks on as Tracy Carter speaks at the Kiva City Pittsburgh launch party.
“Pittsburgh is going to be a model for Kiva Zip.” Evan Segal, a Pittsburgh business leader and Kiva Zip proponent, began the Kiva City Pittsburgh launch with a bold prediction. Last week, Pittsburgh became the 8th Kiva City, launching at Marty’s Market in Pittsburgh’s Strip District with over 160 attendees. The huge turnout demonstrated the potential in Segal’s promise, and Pittsburgh’s supportive, community-minded nature.   “... Continue Reading >>


Feb 28, 2014 US United States

Pittsburgh is so hot right now. Not literally, since the Iron City is experiencing its harshest winter in over 20 years, but in terms of livability, affordability, and romance, Pittsburgh is going through a surge of positive media coverage for an amazing economic turnaround. This is, in part, due to the efforts of local entrepreneurs opening new businesses in various Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Harry Geyer of The Wheel Mill is the perfect example. His vision for an indoor bike park materialized in the spring of 2013, and was helped along by a Kiva Zip loan late last fall. The Wheel Mill,... Continue Reading >>


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