Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Born in a refugee camp, now designing her own collections in NYC

This is part of our World Refugee Day series honoring Kiva borrowers who made the incredible journey from refugee to entrepreneur. Jembere. In Amharic – the native language of Ethiopia – it means, “my sunset.” When Abaynesh, a designer in New York, fulfilled her dream of creating her own eyewear brand, she named it Jembere in honor of her roots. Her collections are now sold b ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

A farmer rebuilds again, as a refugee in her own land

This is part of our World Refugee Day series honoring Kiva borrowers who made the incredible journey from refugee to entrepreneur. Leila is constantly smiling, and beams with pride when talking about her farm. But behind her sunny exterior, she carries a story of extreme hardship and perseverance. Leila used to live in Ochamchire, in the coastal region of Abkhazia, situated in the nor ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

After fleeing war across 8 countries, a tailor pursues his dream

This is part of our World Refugee Day series honoring Kiva borrowers who made the incredible journey from refugee to entrepreneur. For Kone, a designer and tailor, achieving his dream of owning his own business in Nairobi has been a long journey, both mentally and physically. In 2002, he was the proud owner of a stable and prosperous tailoring business in his native Côte d’Ivoire ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

She’s 22, from rural Zimbabwe, and a mogul in the making

This is the fourth in our ‘Invest in her, invest in change’ series celebrating the power of women entrepreneurs around the world. Join Kiva in crowdfunding $1 million in loans to women by International Women’s Day on March 8. Lindiwe, 22, beams with pride as she presents bottles of her homemade juice and soda to customers at her shop in rural Zimbabwe. Each bottle has a hand-glued label ...

Kiva Blog Update

Kiva Blog Update,

Finding a green, local solution to a deadly household chore

It’s early evening and the sun is glowing, low and golden, above a homestead located a 3-hour drive from Cape Coast, Ghana. The air has cooled just enough for Grace and her family to start cooking their dinner over an open fire. Tonight they are making gravy and yams, and crushing together tomatoes and garden eggs, a popular type of eggplant.   At regular intervals Grace and h ...

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  1. Kiva Fellows Update

    Rwanda Transformation: Urwego Opportunity Bank's Social Impact

           When I began my Kiva fellowship,  I had so many questions on how microfinance works and does it really have an impact on people’s lives.   As I arrived in Kigali, the understanding of social impact was the first on my list to accomplish.  I wanted to know the Why of Kiva and how can I help to have an impact.  My MFI partner is Urwego Opportunity Bank, and I was excited to spend the next 4…

    Posted by Jessica Ellerbrock

  2. Kiva Fellows Update

    Paying it forward: How “social interest” benefits borrowers and the community

    To say Chereponi is off the beaten path may be an understatement. I arrived in this tiny town in the Northern region of Ghana after driving nearly 90 km on a rutted dirt road from the small city of Yendi, which had taken nearly two hours to reach from Camfed Ghana’s office in Tamale. We were close enough that, had time allowed, I could have walked across the border to the neighboring country…

    Posted by Susan Patterson

  3. Kiva Fellows Update

    Animals for Education in Vietnam

    These entrepreneurial Kiva borrowers from Yên Định, a rural village in Thanh Hoa province, purchased, raised and sold animals in order to pay for their children's education. All of these borrowers told me their income doubled (one told me her income tripled) as a result of receiving their loans from Kiva, thereby easing the emotional and financial struggle of being able to afford paying for…

    Posted by Lisa DeMarco

  4. Kiva Fellows Update

    The Right to Access Capital

    “Despite the hoopla over microfinance, it doesn't cure poverty”1. The validity of this statement is recognized, and the data; compelling. A simple google search will lead you to a plethora of articles about how microfinance is not as effective as promised by NGOs around the world, and that it is a disappointment in the development field234. However, before you scrap the concept and decide your…

    Posted by Ceejay Girard

  5. Kiva Fellows Update

    When the minibus went on a strike in La Paz, Bolivia…

    On waking up this morning, I was surprised to find a message from my co-worker, sent at 5.30 am, that read, “Janvi – there’s a transport strike today, please be careful. Don’t speak with strangers on the street. Honestly, it would be better if you stay home and decide not to come into work.”   "Protest of Chauffeurs in La Paz" The subtitle of this article explains that the strike has been…

    Posted by Janvi Gandhi

  6. Kiva Fellows Update

    Vietnamese Salt Farmers: The Salt of the Earth

    Humble, good-natured, reliable. These are the qualities I've encountered in the salt farmers - and Kiva microloan borrowers - I was able to visit this past week in Thanh Hoa province in Vietnam, hence my dubbing them "the salt of the earth." This phrase's ancient, biblical origins harken back to a time in which salt was considered synonymous with value, to the extent salt was sometimes used as…

    Posted by Lisa DeMarco

  7. Kiva Fellows Update

    Discovering Liberia Through Food

    One of my favorite parts of traveling is the opportunity to try new foods. I’ve never been particularly interested in typical tourist attractions. I would rather explore and wander upon serendipitous experiences. The best way to truly understand what a culture is all about is to sample its cuisine.   Liberia is not particularly well known for its food. It’s a shame though. Trying Liberian food…

    Posted by Will Putnam

  8. Kiva Fellows Update

    A day playing with Brazilian crianças

    Kid jumping the rope It's funny how Brazilians have a different date for almost every typical western celebration. For example, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on June 12th and Father’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of August. Children’s day (Dia das crianças) is a pretty big event in Brazil too and it is celebrated on October 12th. As part of this year Children’s Day, my field partner…

    Posted by Francesca Velasco

  9. Kiva Blog Update

    An update on our partners in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew

    On October 4, Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti and eastern Cuba as a Category 4 storm, causing massive destruction and severe damage to much of the region. Relief agencies are racing to deliver supplies across the island, but an estimated 900 people have tragically lost their lives and there is now a high risk of a cholera outbreak due to contaminated water sources. We reached out…

    Posted by Natalie Brown

  10. Kiva Blog Update

    Made in Oakland: Helping small businesses thrive

    Last week, Kiva celebrated local businesses in the city of Oakland with its first-ever Made in Oakland event. Located in the beautiful outdoor space in front of City Hall, 45 local entrepreneurs showed off their unique businesses, selling everything from vegan cupcakes to repurposed footwear and filling the air with good music, good aromas, and good vibes. Read more of this story on Kiva's…

    Posted by Natalie Brown

  11. Kiva Fellows Update

    “So you work with garbage?”

    Meet Javier Alberto Viscarra Meet Javier Alberto Viscarra. A 49-year old entrepreneur, he recycles hospital waste to develop solutions for unwanted plastic. His product is simple, a machine that breaks down “low density polyethylene” – substance that plastic bottles contain – and recycles them as granules for reuse in the market. He developed his first machine in 2010 when he started his…

    Posted by Janvi Gandhi

  12. Kiva Fellows Update

    “Soy la Jefa” - “I’m the boss”

    With 40 years of experience behind her apron, Maria Dolores used a Kiva loan to transform a small artisanal breadmaking business into an ever-growing enterprise.  Maria continues to use traditional methods, including a wood-fired stove, to produce each high quality loaf just as her mother once taught her.  This traditional method, although time consuming, yields a tasty product favored by…

    Posted by Seth Broughton

  13. Kiva Blog Update

    Kiva and The MasterCard Foundation launch $7.9 million partnership for high-impact loans to African farmers

    Kiva and The MasterCard Foundation are kicking off a 5-year, $7.9 million partnership to test, develop and scale high-impact loans serving the unique needs of smallholder farmers and rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa. The MasterCard Foundation is supporting the project to push the boundaries of microcredit, furthering the foundation’s commitment to financial inclusion strategies with…

    Posted by Jason Riggs

  14. Kiva Fellows Update

    Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Cambodia Edition

    Coming into my fellowship, I was quite aware of some of the challenges of running microfinance operations. I knew that interest rates from certain microfinance institutions can be too high for borrowers to sustain repayments and that it takes a lot of manpower to disburse loans, perform loan assessments, and conduct verifications. But I only understood those factors on a theoretical level.…

    Posted by Omika Jikaria

  15. Kiva Fellows Update

    Annual Percentage Rates in Brazil: the awful truth

    Here with Maria Aparecida, one of Kiva funded entrepreneurs in Brazil who benefits from lower interest rates Most of us have heard at least once about Brazil: this enormously huge country, with crazy amazing beaches, great weather, great people, land of Gisele Bundchen, land of caipirinha and so on. For those who know a bit more about Brazil, perhaps you might know about Dilma Rousseff and its…

    Posted by Francesca Velasco

  16. Kiva Fellows Update

    Kenya Has Mastered Mobile Money. Here Are 3 Reasons Vietnam Needs Mobile Money Too.

    Kenya dominates mobile money, as there are now more than 26.7 million M-Pesa subscribers in Kenya alone, and these subscribers can now use M-Pesa to exchange money through their phones without having to link their electronic funds to a formal bank account. Here's how M-Pesa works: the user obtains a Safaricom sim card and takes cash to be deposited with an M-Pesa agent. If the user wants to…

    Posted by Lisa DeMarco

  17. Kiva Fellows Update

    Biodigester Borrowers & The Triple Bottom Line

    Biodigesters meet the triple bottom line (“TBL”) of people, planet and profit, thereby resulting in maximum impact. They not only reduce energy costs, but also provide a positive environmental and social impact as well. I will briefly explain what a biodigester is, how it works, how biodigesters meet the TBL, and why they can and should proliferate as microloan products, using examples from…

    Posted by Lisa DeMarco

  18. Kiva Fellows Update

    Bagururu or bust: My day in a Dagomba village

    There are not many things I will get up at 4:30 a.m. for, but as it turns out, the chance to attend a Dagomba Outdooring ceremony is one of them. I had been invited by my housemate, a former Peace Corps volunteer who has lived in Ghana for seven years. A week earlier a new baby had been born to her host family, so when she invited me to spend a day in the village, I jumped at the chance.…

    Posted by Susan Patterson

  19. Kiva Fellows Update

    ¡Viva la Educación! Dominican students invest in their future with Kiva loans

    As a Kiva Fellow in the Dominican Republic, I had the distinct pleasure of working with FUNDAPEC (the funding arm of Action for Education and Culture) and getting to know some of the students it supports. FUNDAPEC has been expanding access to education for nearly 50 years, lending to over 100,000 students since its founding in 1967.  Based on its long-standing positive reputation countrywide,…

    Posted by Abigail Bates

  20. Kiva Fellows Update

    Video Blog: 10 things I wish I knew before college

    (YouTube link below) Over the last four months, I have been serving as a Fellow with the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), a Kiva field partner in Kyrgyzstan. AUCA is an education loan field partner through which students in need of financial aid are supported with $1,100 USD loans by Kiva lenders. A 4.5 year grace period and 0% interest makes this loan product unique. A key piece…

    Posted by Priya Singh