Posts tagged ‘Amber Barger’

A field partner grows from the pilot to active stage

Congratulations to Credit Mongol! This Kiva field partner in Mongolia recently achieved active status on the Kiva website.  As you may well know, Kiva partners with microfinance institutions (MFIs), like Credit Mongol, in countries across the globe, reaching hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs. These partnerships are what make Kiva possible on a large scale.

Kiva Fellow and Credit Mongol Kiva staff

Kiva Fellow and Credit Mongol Kiva staff


27 March 2011 at 18:00 4 comments

Ten interviews with Mongolian entrepreneurs

By Amber Barger, KF14, Mongolia

A borrower verification is a thorough check of ten random Kiva borrowers of a field partner. It’s used to verify the accuracy of the information published on the borrower profiles on the Kiva website. A borrower verification happens several times throughout the course of a partnership in order to assess a microfinance institution’s performance levels. Read below about the ten borrowers I visited through a borrower verification with XacBank.

Continue Reading 23 February 2011 at 07:00 3 comments

Happy Lunar New Year! How local traditions affect the business cycle

Happy Lunar New Year! Сар шинэдээ сайхан шинэлээрэй, as we say in Mongolian. Today, the countries and communities across the world who traditionally follow the lunar calendar are celebrating the first day of the New Year! Boy! – Microloan demands sure have been high lately. The need for loans center around traditional activities practiced for the Lunar New Year holiday.


3 February 2011 at 06:00 3 comments

Video: How the connection happens – Kiva Coordinators

A Kiva Coordinator is someone who organizes and manages the Kiva program at one of Kiva’s field partners. Watch the video to find out what a Kiva Coordinator does everyday, their favorite aspects of working with Kiva, and also the challenges of being a Kiva Coordinator. As a Roaming Fellow, I had the opportunity to interview three Mongolian field partners – XacBank, Credit Mongol, and Transcapital.


23 January 2011 at 05:00 6 comments

“9 Nines” – Nine sets of nine days of Mongolian winter

The winter technically began on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year – December 22. Although from October, families have been making fires to keep warm and temperatures have been well below freezing. Now we’re in the fourth set of nines in the Mongolian winter, the coldest set! I woke up this morning to -33 degree Fahrenheit temperatures in the capital city. The seasonal calendar greatly influences the types of micro businesses in Mongolia. In the wintertime, many of the businesses focus on keeping the general population warm.

Continue Reading 20 January 2011 at 05:00 2 comments

All in a weekend’s work: Trade fairs and certificate ceremonies

By Amber Barger, KF13, Mongolia.

Recently, I was able to travel to the countryside and combine many of my Kiva Fellow duties into one trip. With XacBank, I traveled to Uvurkhangai and Bayankhongor Provinces together with the Kiva Coordinator. We interviewed Kiva entrepreneurs, attended trade fairs, trained loan officers, and participated in a very special certificate ceremony – all in four days!

Continue Reading 4 January 2011 at 03:19 3 comments

Mongolian Independence/Constitution Day, A Short History Lesson

November 26 is a national Mongolian holiday. November 26, 1924 was the day that Mongolia declared itself as an independent country with the adoption of its first constitution. The Mongolian People’s Republic (MPR), a communist state, under the rule of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP), lasted until 1990.

Continue Reading 29 November 2010 at 03:00 1 comment

The range of rural to urban businesses in pictures

Mongolia is known for its vast amount of open space and beautiful scenery. The population density of Mongolia is just over 1 person per square kilometer. In this post, I’ll share photos from the most rural of businesses to the most urban.

The term “countryside” can be translated into “khuudoo” in Mongolian language. However, the meaning of the word is slightly different in English and Mongolian. The term khuudoo in Mongolian is relative to where you are from in the country and where you are when you say the word.

Continue Reading 13 November 2010 at 05:00 1 comment

Mongolia’s transportation infrastructure and how it influences micro businesses

By Amber Barger, KF12, Mongolia.

Mongolia is a landlocked country spanning 1,564,116 sq km, slightly smaller than Alaska. It’s situated between Russia and China. The main forms of transportation available from international destinations are flights from Russia, China, Korea, and Japan and the train route from Russia and China. Domestic flights, the train route and transport by road are options within Mongolia.

Small business owners normally don’t have the money to fly to and from Ulaanbaatar, this luxury is usually only attainable for government officials, foreigners, and wealthier urban Mongolians.

Continue Reading 8 November 2010 at 05:00 1 comment

Traditional Mongolian gers and the artisans who produce them

By Amber Barger, KF12, Mongolia.

If you browse Mongolian borrower profiles on, you’ll notice that most of them say that the borrower lives in traditional Mongolian housing named a ger, more commonly known as a yurt. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to visit borrowers who live in traditional gers and who work in ger-producing workshops.

Continue Reading 18 October 2010 at 06:00 2 comments

XacBank provides youth financial education and savings accounts

By Amber Barger, KF12, Mongolia.

The past five years XacBank, a Kiva field partner, has been providing higher-education loans for university students. The bank has also created a savings account named Future Millionaire, for children under the age of eighteen. More recently, the bank has targeted a younger group of students, as young as eight years old, to provide personal finance and social education. XacBank is currently implementing two youth financial education programs – Aflatoun and Aspire.

Continue Reading 22 September 2010 at 06:00 5 comments

Mongolian Borrowers in the Dairy Industry

By Amber Barger, KF12, Mongolia.

Mongolians have been practicing the art of transforming milk into dozens of dairy products for hundreds of years. Nowadays, about 40 percent of the workforce is engaged in activities surrounding animal husbandry and products made from livestock. As Kiva’s August food month is coming to an end, here’s some insight into dairy product producers and distributors in Mongolia.

Continue Reading 30 August 2010 at 07:30 3 comments

Peace Corps Volunteers and Kiva Fellows

By Amber Barger, KF12, Mongolia

The goals of the United States Peace Corps and the Kiva Fellows Program fit quite well with each other. Because of this, I’m able to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) and Kiva Fellow at the same time. Both programs promote cross-cultural awareness and capacity building within the given host community. Let’s look at how the volunteer programs relate to each other.

Continue Reading 14 August 2010 at 07:00 12 comments

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