Jul 10, 2015 GT Guatemala

Mari Cruz is an energetic, friendly, and dynamic 41-year-old woman. About fifteen years ago, she decided to open her own restaurant and took out her first loan to purchase tables and chairs. One year later, Mari Cruz started her own tortillería – a tortilla bakery. Tortillas are served with every meal in Guatemala, so it was better for her restaurant when she had freshly made tortilla from her tortillería. Mari Cruz has continued to take out Kiva loans to grow and improve her businesses. Through her loans, Mari Cruz now has running water (she used to have to carry buckets of water to her... Continue Reading >>

Jul 9, 2015 US United States

Summer school is in session! I know what you’re thinking - “Summer school? Sounds like a drag.” The ear-to-ear smiles on these five, six, and seven year-old students’ faces would make you question all of your preconceived notions of summer school. Charmaine (known as Ms. Moses when she walks through the sunflower yellow door) gives these students plenty to smile about, ensuring a balance of education, playtime and the always underrated nap time.
Ms. Moses in front of the sunflower yellow door
Charmaine and her husband... Continue Reading >>

Jul 6, 2015 US United States

Terry needed a printer, a website, more sergers and sewing machines, and cutting mats for her MKE Fashion Incubator. It is a creative venue where she offers private lessons, public classes, and workshops in sewing, alterations, hemming, and sergers using as well as co-working space for other aspiring designers. Iris had a business plan for her home-based sewing and crochet business Virtuous By Design (VBD). She was hoping to purchase professional sewing machines and supplies to grow her sewing services. She also wanted some capital to develop her branding and website.... Continue Reading >>

Jul 6, 2015 US United States

Blair, a successful Kiva Zip borrower, microloan evangelist, and bug expert.
If you see a bug in your house, do you reach for a can of Raid? Blair Leano-Helvey, a Kiva Zip borrower in Louisville, KY, wants you to know there’s a better solution. Better for you and your family, better for the planet, and better for small business. If you see a bug in your house, she wants you to…buy more bugs.

For the past several years, Blair has run Entomology Solutions, a company that “...

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Jun 23, 2015 UA Ukraine

United?.....No. My one-on-one interactions with people across the country, has borne out what some reports on Ukraine state. There are strong and divergent sentiments among different regions and communities. A simplistic analysis may state that the Ukrainians are mainly divided along linguistic or geographical lines – this is not the case on the ground.
   ... Continue Reading >>

Jun 22, 2015 UA Ukraine

Imagine you were told that from next month onwards, your utility prices - water, electricity and gas - would go up. Imagine also, that you live in a country where the temperatures during winter months drop to sub-zero, and gas for heating is a critical necessity. Further, do imagine that the stated price increase for gas will be between 500 – 700%, with the promise that it will go up even beyond these levels in future. How would you cope? Ukrainians don’t have to imagine such a scenario, they will have to live with it. Gas from Ukraine’s eastern neighbour has been described as a drug that... Continue Reading >>

Jun 21, 2015 ML Mali

Imagine you’re a Malian farmer. Once a year you plant your corn, your sorghum, your peanuts, your millet. You pray for solid rainfall and a large enough harvest to feed your family for the year. Once you harvest your crops and sell what you can, you fret about how you’ll manage your money over the next several months, when your income is sporadic and unreliable. Since you live in a rural area, very far from the nearest paved road, storing your money in a bank isn’t really an option. And of course you support your family and friends when they get sick or encounter some other financial burden.... Continue Reading >>

Jun 18, 2015 PH Philippines

Greetings from Cabanatuan City, nicknamed the “Tricycle Capital of the Philippines.” Tricycles, made by affixing a sidecar to a motorcycle, are a common means of public transportation in the Philippines. More than 30,000 tricycles for a population of 272,676 people (as of 2010) in Cabanatuan means that there is 1 tricycle for every 9 people in this largest city in the province of Nueva Ecija.
This is a tricycle, a common means of public transportation in the Philippines.
After attending Kiva Fellows Training at the... Continue Reading >>

Jun 10, 2015 ML Mali

The office of RMCR, the Kiva Partner in Mali where I’m serving as a fellow, is about 2 km away from my home. I’ve made it a habit to walk these 2 km. It should never take more than 20-25 minutes. Yet, usually it takes me 45 minutes to 1 hour to get there. And here’s why I love it.   There are some things about living in Mali that can be uncomfortable and stressful. There is a rebellion going on in the north, and occasionally they will provoke things in Bamako, the capital, as well.  But as soon as you’re out in the street, talking to the many friendly people that you undoubtedly... Continue Reading >>

Jun 3, 2015 IN India

Let me introduce you to Runu. Runu is a wife, a mother of five, a business owner and a client of Mahashakti Foundation, one of Kiva’s Field Partners in India. Runu has been a client of Mahashakti for a long time. She started with a small loan of just INR 10,000 ($160) which she used to buy a sewing machine to start a tailoring business. After repaying her first loan, she applied for a second, larger loan to finance a business for her husband, who is a welder. They used the money to open up a welding shop.
Runu with the sewing...
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