Jul 3, 2014 KV Kiva HQ
By Tess Murphy
American Entrepreneurs Dare to Dream this Independence Day
If you’re from the United States or live in the States, you’re likely gearing up to celebrate the Fourth of July tomorrow. After the fireworks are set off and the meat is on the BBQ, it’ll be time to reflect on what this holiday means for Americans. As many know, the day memorializes the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, over two hundred years ago. Today, and every day at Kiva, we celebrate the freedom and independence of our borrowers and their pursuit of the ‘American Dream.’ The ‘American Dream’ is actually a universal dream, that anyone-regardless of gender, race, social class, religion, or origin- can succeed with enough hard work and perseverance. Through Kiva Zip, lenders can directly support borrowers in the pursuit of their dreams.

One Kiva Zip borrower, Gregory, is a military veteran, and the Founder/CEO of PatriotMove, a business providing modern relocation support to military servicemembers and families. With this next Kiva Zip loan, he plans to hire a military spouse who can provide communication and outreach to the community through blogs, tools and supplemental information. Gregory “can't wait to get out into the world and begin helping service members and their families.”

Another Zip Borrower, Garrison, is the founder of Hollywood Livestock, a forage-based, sustainable farm in Louisiana that allows consumers to know where their meat comes from. The Kiva Zip loan will help him set up a main barn on their newly acquired land that will give proper facilities, storage and help increase production. Businesses like Garrisons are part of a larger movement that focuses on ethically raising animals while promoting environmental stability. Kiva Zip entrepreneurs’ dreams are socially-minded, so as their businesses flourish so do their communities at large.

Also concerned with her community’s long-term development is Tina, an elementary school teacher turned entrepreneur. After finding traditional teaching settings to be limiting, she founded Emaginations, an after-school center based in New Jersey, where kids can ‘think outside the box’ through innovative activities allowing children to work together and think creatively with hands-on projects. Tina’s next loan will allow her to expand her business by traveling to other communities to set up similar programs. “My dream is to transform the mindset of every child that walks through the doors of Emaginations. I want every child to know that all they need they already possess. They just have to realize how powerful they are and take a chance on designing their lives, and dare to achieve their goals.”

Daring to dream is a mantra on Kiva and one that resonates with many celebrating this 4th of July. Take a few minutes this holiday weekend to mark this Independence Day by helping a borrower who is working hard to pursue their American dream.

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Tess arrives at Kiva after a two year backpacking excursion through Asia and the South Pacific, where she volunteered at monasteries, taught English, went diving in shipwrecks, was attacked by a band of robbing monkeys and made it out, not quite unscathed, but alive. While in Asia, she learned about the importance of community in rural areas and how small businesses help empower the people and preserve their culture. With a B.A. in Political Science and French from Fordham University in New York City, Tess has returned to her native city of San Francisco to pursue her passion in international development. In her free time she likes to hike, explore and maintain her blog about events around The City.

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