Inside Kiva: impact at home and abroad

When you make a loan on Kiva, you may not realize just how many hardworking and dedicated people it takes in the organization to connect your loan to a borrower. Besides more than 500 volunteers and fellows, Kiva also employs over 100 employees in our global offices from San Francisco to Sierra Leone. 

The majority of Kiva’s operating costs are supported by donations from lenders like you. That enables our teams to keep Kiva running - from investments, global operations and engineering to development, marketing and community support.

This story goes behind the scenes to show you one of the amazing people that make Kiva tick! Dubem Jideonwo is on Kiva’s Strategic Development and Partnerships team. 

Originally from Nigeria, Dubem saw firsthand the effects of a difficult socioeconomic environment in an emerging country. She developed her passion for financial inclusion during her senior year of college in a Development Economics class. Since then, she has worked in a variety of roles in international development, including social entrepreneurship, impact investing and financial inclusion for African youth, women and entrepreneurs. 

In her role at Kiva, Dubem handles donations from individuals, families, corporations and foundations.

"Even small donations add up and really make a difference in sustaining Kiva’s operations and its community as a whole."

She also writes grant proposals, which involves sharing the impact Kiva makes in order to secure funding for future projects. 

As someone who routinely writes about and shares Kiva’s progress, Dubem is very in touch with the impact the organization makes. “My goal has always been to work for an organization that gives me an opportunity to contribute to the development of innovative solutions not only for Africa’s marginalized populations but also for those globally,” Dubem says, “I feel as though I can achieve these here at Kiva.”

Most employees take an international work trip at some point during their tenure with Kiva - where they can see Kiva’s impact firsthand. However, Dubem’s experience shows that employees don’t have to travel abroad to see Kiva’s impact. By engaging with U.S. borrower and the lending community, Dubem plugs into that impact closer to HQ.

Besides her work in the Kiva office in San Francisco, Dubem volunteers her time to represent Kiva at a variety of external speaking engagements, often at schools and universities. “I haven’t taken my trip to the field yet, but the way I see Kiva’s impact is by external speaking engagements, especially for younger populations that lend to Kiva,” she says. 

“It’s so easy to see the love for Kiva in our immediate community. They know Kiva and love Kiva already.”

Dubem represented Kiva at an event at UC Berkeley in spring 2019 along with panelists from Google, Fair Trade and others

Kiva’s impact goes beyond the communities that receive loans - it also has a huge impact on the lending communities as well. It gives people a global awareness and allows them to be a part of global solutions with as little as a $25 contribution. Kiva creates a global community.

The passion and appreciation within Kiva’s lending community is a testament to its impact in the world. People are looking for ways to do good and are inspired by Kiva’s mission. That drive is also what brings dedicated professionals to work for Kiva. Take it from Dubem - “Through my experience at Kiva thus far, I am surrounded by highly motivated, positive and entrepreneurial minds who are dedicated to a mission.”

It takes passionate people like Dubem to keep Kiva running, and donations from lenders like you help make that possible. Join our global community and make a donation here.

About the author

Channing Fisher.

Channing first witnessed the ability of entrepreneurship to empower people while studying Spanish in Guatemala. Throughout college, she became interested in microfinance while working in business development in the Netherlands and studying the effects of tourism on Caribbean economies. After graduating from Principia College in 2018 with degrees in Political Science and Business, she began work for a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit and later found Kiva. She's passionate about communicating and sharing the work done at Kiva and elsewhere in the international development space.