Nov 10, 2016 KE Kenya

“We have very productive land here. We just need enough water to grow our crops” Irene said repeatedly as we were taking a tour of her farm in Kalamba, Kenya. Irene and her family’s primary business is managing their three-acre farm that sits in Makueni County in central Kenya. On their land, Irene grows a variety of crops including peas, tomatoes, maize and mangos. While the family has had several successful months of higher than average yields, Irene expressed her anxiety of having enough water in the coming months as we toured her farm. Irene’s concerns were not unique. I also visited... Continue Reading >>


Nov 8, 2016 BR Brazil, CR Costa Rica, EC Ecuador, SV El Salvador, GO Global Update

Tattoos, t-shirts and elaborate sugar skulls have become increasingly popular in art and fashion, but do you know the cultural significance behind these intricate designs?

 

Dia de los Muertos—Day of the Dead—is a holiday celebrated throughout Latin America, though it is most strongly associated with Mexico, where the tradition originated. Assured that...

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Nov 8, 2016 VN Vietnam

Knowledge is not just power for the poorest of the poor in Dien Bien province; Knowledge is necessary to maintain daily life and to be able to provide...

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Nov 2, 2016 LR Liberia

Coffee options in Monrovia are limited. Nescafe is typically the go-to option. Coffee grounds are sold at supermarkets, but they don't come cheap. There is one store with local Liberian beans, but then you have to grind your beans before making coffee. Who has time for that? So far, I’ve resorted to reusing grounds that I brought from home. This at least gets me my morning kick. But what happens when I want to go to a coffee shop? Where could I go? There are three options I know of in Monrovia. There’s Kaldi’s Coffee, outside of the Royal Hotel, which has amazing pastries and pretty decent... Continue Reading >>


Oct 31, 2016 VN Vietnam

This is Mrs. Giang! Mrs. Giang has two children, a boy and a girl, who she has raised on her own since her husband passed away. She has been managing a successful tofu making and selling business in Thanh Hoa for eight years. Mrs. Giang recently applied for and received a Kiva loan to purchase an additional, newer, tofu making machine. Her old machine would constantly break and even when it did work, it was very slow. ... Continue Reading >>


Oct 28, 2016 LR Liberia

When most people think of entrepreneurship in developing countries, they do not think of innovation. Even in cases of extreme growth, such as in China, most wealth and development comes from copying what has worked in other places in the past. This is what is known as 1 --> n innovation. No truly new ideas are required; one simply has to copy what has worked n times. 0 --> 1 innovation is qualitatively different: it requires novel ideas.
Business owners on Tubman Boulevard
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Oct 27, 2016 VN Vietnam

I had the opportunity to meet some inspiring fisherwomen in Thanh Hoa this week! Two of them said they were able to quadruple their incomes as a result of receiving loans from Kiva over the course of 8 years. They couldn't ever have afforded to buy the technology, tools and large fishing nets needed to expand their fishing businesses without loans from Kiva. I knew Kiva was impactful, but it's very exciting to see and hear the positive impact in the flesh!  (From the left: Nhung, Thuy and Binh) Here are the nets Nhung received with her Kiva loan: ... Continue Reading >>


Oct 26, 2016 RW Rwanda

       When I began my Kiva fellowship,  I had so many questions on how microfinance works and does it really have an impact on people’s lives.   As I arrived in Kigali, the understanding of social impact was the first on my list to accomplish.  I wanted to know the Why of Kiva and how can I help to have an impact.  My MFI partner is Urwego Opportunity Bank, and I was excited to spend the next 4 months witnessing and telling their story of the work they do.          My first week I met with Agaba, the Social... Continue Reading >>


Oct 25, 2016 KE Kenya

For the past 60 years, economists have been researching and discussing asset diversification and Modern Portfolio Theory. Developed first by the Nobel Economist Harry Markowitz in his 1952 paper, Portfolio Selection, Modern Portfolio Theory is the study of “a choice of the mean and variance of a portfolio of assets” (1). Modern Portfolio Theory investigates the benefits of diversifying one’s wealth across different assets, be it land, houses, stock, bonds or other asset classes. A key hypothesis in the field is that through the diversification of assets, particularly among assets... Continue Reading >>


Oct 25, 2016 GH Ghana

To say Chereponi is off the beaten path may be an understatement. I arrived in this tiny town in the Northern region of Ghana after driving nearly 90 km on a rutted dirt road from the small city of Yendi, which had taken nearly two hours to reach from Camfed Ghana’s office in Tamale. We were close enough that, had time allowed, I could have walked across the border to the neighboring country of Togo. But that wasn’t the purpose of my visit — I had a very special Kiva borrower to meet.

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