Stories tagged with Innovation

Mar 3, 2014 ZM Zambia
After three weeks in the field, I’ve just completed my ten Borrower Verifications for Kiva’s Field Partner, Zoona. I’ve traveled from the capital city, Lusaka, as far north as the Tanzania border at Nakonde, and as far south as Victoria Falls in Livingstone. With at least 3,000 km behind me, and 100+ hours in the field visiting with the entrepreneurs at the very heart of Kiva’s mission, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible and resilient individuals, and had the privilege of hearing their stories.

What has made Kiva’s platform so compelling and successful is the power... Continue Reading >>
Jan 1, 2014 CO Colombia
I sat still listening to Antonio.  His words carefully descended his hand-written business plan. His dreams on paper.  A sip from sugarcane sweetened, hand-squeezed limonada.  The cool stainless steel cup set next to a dormant orchid, one of the countless pots lining the rim of Antonio's flowering patio.  I shifted my weight on the make-shift hardwood bench to get a better view of the family dog frozen in a sun-soaked, belly-rub slumber. On turning the final page, I... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2013 AL Albania, BR Brazil, CO Colombia, DE Germany, HT Haiti
As surprised as my family and friends were when I told them that I’m heading off to Kyrgyzstan, that’s about as surprised as my Kiva colleagues were when they found out that I’m also heading to Frankfurt, for a portion of my Kiva Fellowship.

At first pass, Germany doesn’t seem like a country that would fit with Kiva’s non-profit microfinance orientation and mission statement. Yet, in Frankfurt, one of the world’s prominent financial centres, an innovative start-up and recent Kiva Field Partner, Yunus Social Business (“YSB”), is pushing the envelope of social business investing,... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2013 GO Global Update, RW Rwanda
Kerosene is the primary source of light for over a billion people on the planet. Its fumes can cause health problems for those that use it frequently (sometimes children, studying after dark), and the long-run costs can reach a quarter of a family’s income. To top things off, kerosene’s black carbon byproduct is a far greater threat to climate change than carbon dioxide (see article). Despite all these problems, its incrementally cheap price and ubiquity make it popular.
 
In light of this, numerous clean-energy organizations have stepped up to tackle this problem... Continue Reading >>
Dec 12, 2012 IN India

By Irene Fung | KF19 | India

Water and Sanitation may not be the first issue that people associate with Kiva.  Entrepreneurs scoop up most of the headlines in micro-finance, but when it comes to alleviating poverty, other less publicized loan products are equally important. In fact, Kiva is committed to increasing peoples’ access to financial services to facilitate the development of water and sanitation, a key development challenge.

India has felt this challenge acutely with 67% of the rural households lacking any access to sanitation facilities. In Odisha, India...

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Nov 11, 2012 UG Uganda

Laura Sellmansberger | KF19 | Uganda

CKWs in Masaka practice using their new equipment (photo credit Ravi Agarwal)

Kiva recognizes the unique power of the interest-free capital it provides through its lenders. The zero-interest aspect of Kiva’s loans enables its partners to act boldly and to try new things, to go the extra mile to reach new groups of people, and to fund loans that Kiva characterizes as highly catalytic. Kiva uses the term ...

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Oct 10, 2012 BF Burkina Faso

Diana Biggs | KF 18 | Burkina Faso

I’d like to think the title of this post sums up my experience in Burkina Faso – perhaps even both professional and personally. I’ll focus on the former here and try to take you through my journey.

Expectations: As a Kiva Fellow, it’s likely you’re a Type A (if on the quirky end), dedicated, well-traveled, highly educated young person, perhaps an experienced professional looking to Pivot (see Patrick’s post for more on that) or mid-studies in a Masters program. Whilst...

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Sep 9, 2012 NI Nicaragua

He is named Global Young Leader by the World Economic Forum and is on the Forbes 40 under 40 list.
It is easy to become impressed, maybe intimidated by a person that holds such accolades. But Premal Shah, president of Kiva, is the last person to become intimidated by. However, impressed? Yes, highly. And he was coming my way to Nicaragua.

Premal Shah’s lender page on Kiva. Note that he made over 300 loans.

The only time I...

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Sep 9, 2012 KE Kenya

Varick Schwartz | KF18 | Kenya

Kiva profile photo from mobile app

Juhudi loan officer using mobile app to capture Kiva profile info


When I applied to the Kiva Fellows program, I knew I’d be spending some time ‘in...

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Aug 8, 2012 KE Kenya

My Fellowship workplan has been focused a little more on the technical side of things, with more application programming and appraisal analysis than borrower verifications. From such projects, and also because I come from a banking, lending and risk management background, it seems fitting to at least put forth some observations regarding the use of credit scores across the Kenya micro landscape. However, the way we approach credit scoring in the USA is almost opposite from current practices here, where aggregated financial data at the individual level could still be years away....

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