Mar 5, 2017 KE Kenya
By Jessica Hansen
One woman brewing change in Africa, and beyond
This story is part of Kiva’s International Women’s Day Campaign. Through March 8th, we’ll be sharing inspiring stories of women borrowers. You can back a woman entrepreneur today by visiting kiva.org/lend/international-womens-day.



Vava, founder of the Kenyan social enterprise Vava Coffee, is taking the coffee industry by storm. Upon learning that coffee farmers in Kenya earn less than 35% of the international market value on their high-quality coffee because of their lack of access to better markets and limited knowledge of the quality of their product, she set out to shake things up. Get the full ‘scoop’ on how her Kiva loan has allowed her to grow her business and improve the lives of 30,000 farmers in innovative ways in this Medium post.

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Jessica comes to Kiva with a background in international education, local capacity building, and global engagement in sustainable poverty alleviation. She heads up Kiva’s education initiative to enhance understanding, involvement, and the mobilization of students and teachers around micro-finance. Prior to this, she worked in remote rural Kenya with Nuru International and has also worked with the U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants, Mercy Corps, the IRC/Women’s Refugee Commission, UNHCR, the Centre for Refugee Research, and MSF (Doctors Without Borders). She holds a BA of International Politics from the University of Central Oklahoma/University of Leicester and an MSW in International Social Development from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Her overseas work has been mainly in East Africa and Southeast Asia, and she is conversational in French, Thai, and Kiswahili. She loves people and travel, bouncing between the wilderness and big cities, savoring amazing food, and regularly fawning over children and animals.

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