When Awena’s mentor, a notable French social entrepreneur, spoke at her graduation (Msc in Business Administration, major entrepreneurship, international project management from the Business School ESCP Europe) about the power of dreams and talent fulfillment, she reacted. She has been since traveling, volunteering and working in NGOs, international for profit and development organizations on most continents. She has sold customized hat boxes to demanding aristocrats in London, produced TV and radio programs in Germany with an EU Youth Program, supervised the communication from Egypt of a market leader up to the souq of electricity across the Middle East. Additionally, Awena has worked for the International Finance Corporation, helping to pave foundations for quality management trainings in Afghanistan to empower local businesses, strengthen non-financial services of partner financial institutions in the Middle East and reinforce access to finance to MSME. She looks forward to the Kiva fellowship in Kenya to contribute to expand access to finance to more local entrepreneurs. She lives between Cairo and Beirut.

Fellows Blog Posts by Awena Lebeschu

Sep 23, 2014 GO Global Update

Check out Kiva's latest post on Medium to see how Joyce, a craftswoman in Beirut, built her own trade: Continue Reading >>

Jun 26, 2014 KE Kenya

When a mzungu meets a Kenyan dairy cow
It’s 3pm, heading to the office, after back to back meetings since early morning with mostly dairy farmers. We've been talking to Kiva borrowers, for borrower verification, hours away from the main business districts in the green region of Nkubu in Kenya. Now we're waiting with the loan officer for a boda boda (moto taxi) to drive us on the bumpy roads before jumping into a matatu (microbus) to our final destination, looking for some shade and freshness away from the sun and... Continue Reading >>

Jun 24, 2014 KE Kenya

Florence and her cow shed acquired with her Kiva loan
I will never forget the day I faced this existential question for the first time...   As a Kiva fellow, I was questioning Florence, an energetic farmer in her fifties, about her family, business, during borrower verifications in the tea plantations of Nkubu in Kenya.   Although she initially thought about buying dairy goats with her Kiva loan, she eventually decided to increase her existing cow productivity and her kids’ sanitation with it. She built a... Continue Reading >>