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Week in Review: Happy Women's History Month!

International Women’s Day is coming up on March 8 -- but we're celebrating all month long with Women's History Month, and talking about all the ways microfinance helps women make a difference in their lives, families and communities.

A Kiva loan helped 12 women in the Annapurna Baba Nilakantheswar Shg Group in India increase their sugarcane production.

One of Kiva's main priorities it to give women access to the tools they need to succeed. While they may not be celebrated in history books like Mother Teresa, Susan B. Anthony, or Rosa Parks, they are heroes in their communities, and we are so happy to be able to connect our lenders with these remarkable women around the world.

So to kick off Women’s History Month, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite and most inspiring stories about Kiva women borrowers.

Tsetsegmaa, her husband, and infant son live in a Mongolian yurt without electricity or piped water. In May 2011, she bought 2 milk cows and started her own business selling milk and yogurt. Shortly thereafter, she received a $500 Kiva loan to buy hay and grass to keep her cows healthy and growing.

Since she received her loan, her cows have produced 2 healthy calves and Tsetsegmaa has generated enough income for her to buy her husband a motorbike. With this motorbike, he can transport their dairy products much further and increase their profits.

On the other side of the world in Paraguay, Sunilda worked primarily as a nurse and ran a small pharmacy out of her house on the side until her husband became ill and was unable to work. With 3 children all in school, their family suddenly relied solely on Sunilda’s income.

With a $725 Kiva loan, she bought flour, meat, soft drinks, rice, sugar, and more -- greatly expanding her store’s inventory and generating more income to keep her kids in school and cover her husband’s medical expenses.

Here in the United States, Renee started her own construction company in New Orleans. With a $10,000 loan, she was able to secure enough capital to invest in her first major contract with the City of New Orleans!

Renee was able to create 3 new jobs, and move from her office from her home to a commercial office space -- an impressive feat for a woman in a male-dominated sector. On top of that, most of her company's work helps restore and build homes for people still recovering from the destruction of Hurricane Katrina.

These are 3 incredibly inspiring women from all different parts of the world, and we are so happy to be able to give them a boost to reaching their full potential.

Help a woman like Tsetsegmaa, Sunilda, or Renee and make a loan to a woman today in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Have questions about what Kiva is doing to celebrate women this month? Have ideas for us? Send them our way at

About the author

Emily Wakefield

A native of southern California, Emily is a recent graduate from Santa Clara University where she studied Economics and Spanish Studies. The highlight of her college experience was the semester she spent abroad in Granada, Spain. She knew she wanted to pursue a career in economic development after reading Half the Sky. Emily will be joining the Marketing and Communications team as a Blog and Social Media Intern and is especially excited to find new and creative ways to spread Kiva’s work to more people. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, listening to country music, and re-watching Friends episodes for the millionth time.