Posts tagged ‘micro loans’
Ever since I started with Kiva Zip in the US my sixth sense seems to have awakened…I see entrepreneurs…everywhere!
I think my understanding what an entrepreneur was had until now been quite limited. An entrepreneur is Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook. Or the guy from Google, or someone opening a restaurant. But how about the person selling soda from a pull cart in Downtown DC? Or the person that put a card in my mailbox saying “cleaner for hire”? No. I didn’t include them in the same definition – until now that is! So as I head to the food cart guy in my neighborhood, I walk past a professional looking farmers market stand, a less established lemonade stand, a guy selling the homeless magazine, a make shift sunglasses stall off the main street and a flower vendor. And it’s clear: we need to adjust our thinking about entrepreneurship. All of us, not just the banks who lend money.
By Marcus Berkowitz, KF16, Ecuador
Institutional birthdays in the US can be fairly stuffy affairs. Seating is often arranged to maximize contact with those in the institution with whom one has never spoken (perhaps for good reason, argue some guests) and they tend to be remembered more for inappropriate comments inserted into otherwise boring speeches rather than for the celebrations that they hope to be but rarely are.
Not so at the Cooperativa San Jose de Chimbo (CSJ). Instead of standing around awkwardly, everyone secretly wishing they were somewhere else, the 47th birthday of CSJ (conveniently combined with the office Xmas party) was a chaotic and energetic no-holds-barred inter-office Karaoke war. This post includes video evidence…
Compiled by Jim Burke, KF16, Nicaragua
This week’s Fellows Blog focuses on adaptability: Adapting microinsurance to poor households in Indonesia, an MFI in Turkey adapts to the needs of women entrepreneurs, a multifaceted borrower in Nepal adapts to market pressures, and a Kiva Fellow adapts to changing expectations. In a continuation of The Stuff Kiva Fellows Like series we hear how different fellows have adapted to their lives abroad by ‘crashing parties’ and ‘going to the Bazaar’. We hear about how practitioners are adapting finance and microinsurance products to their borrowers. Equally nimble we hear from a few borrowers and how they have expertly adapted to market pressures and changing circumstance. Microfinance is a dynamic industry by nature and like DJ or Binu or Maya Enterprise for Micro Finance, ensuring success means staying flexible and welcoming new opportunities born out of challenges. (more…)
Compiled by Jim Burke, KF16, Nicaragua
We are Kiva Fellows. This is the stuff we like. Here is an insider (often critical, or satirical but always true!) view of what it means to be a Kiva Fellow and promote access to financial services around the world. From party crashing to bazaars to street food, these are the things we like and thrive on. Check out Stuff Kiva Fellows Like (SKFL) #1-9!
#10 Street Food
Mariela Cedeño, KF16, Cochabamba, Bolivia
I’m not really sure why, but there is something inherently appealing to a Kiva Fellow’s being about food that is prepared, cooked, and sold on the streets. Perhaps it’s the dubiously hygienic food preparation, the alternative cooking apparatus used to bring food to fire, or it’s ready availability and our relative laziness…wait, no, it’s actually our need to literally ‘taste’ the local culture. In our fits of street food deliriousness we are open and ready to taste all that our surroundings have to offer, however, we often find that the local fare may not quietly find a home in our stomachs. Thankfully, before leaving to our local assignments, our travel nurses reminded us that in times of intestinal woe, Cipro and other like antibiotics will be our best friend. They sometimes are, but because we are well versed in the dangers of overusing antibiotics and are haunted by nightmares of creating giant super bacteria that start kidnapping local women and children, we use them sparingly and wisely. (more…)
Unlike some of my KF 16 fellows classmates, I did not have to rush to the bookstore to read up on the country where I was about to be posted, figure out if my cell phone would work overseas, or learn about internet capabilities because Istanbul has been my home for about the last 12 years. I am lucky that I already have an apartment, know how to get around, know how to order what I want to eat and even knew where my MFI was located. No panic attacks about my new location but lots of panic about blogging and about what my first blog should be on.
Common Latrine in Northwest Cameroon
This photo may not be recognized immediately as a toilet, bathroom, or water closet. Or, it may be considered indecent for publishing on a civilized blog such as the Kiva Fellows Blog. Justifiably, blogs typically highlight the hardworking entrepreneurs who are fighting poverty. But in the interest of connecting Kiva lenders and blog readers to the true lives of Kiva and GHAPE borrowers, I have decided to share an image that many lenders and blog readers may have never seen.
By Stephanie Sibal, KF14, Cambodia
In the last few weeks, while hopped up on caffeine from too many cups of instant coffee, when I was approached and asked to create a marketing plan for MAXIMA, the microfinance institution (MFI) hosting my Kiva Fellowship in Cambodia, I overeagerly agreed.
Prior to my fellowship, I spent some time working in public relations, so the task of creating a marketing plan wasn’t completely new to me. In order to get started, I needed to figure out how MAXIMA markets to its borrowers in the first place. I knew the first place to start was the ever-important loan officer.
“Today, we’re advertising.”
Loan officers have an unbelievably difficult and labor-intensive job. They have a long list of responsibilities: traveling long distances to meet with new or existing clients, disbursing a microloan, and collecting repayments. (Previous Kiva Fellows have written about the jobs of loan officers, in Vietnam and Ecuador)
Last week, I asked to tag along to with Vanna, one of MAXIMA’s loan officers, and found out exactly how crucial loan officers like him are to MAXIMA’s marketing program.
In short, he and other loan officers like him ARE the marketing program.
By Clara Vreeken, KF 14, Bolivia
Blog 1: My name is Clara and I have started my Kiva Fellowship last week at the field partner IMPRO in Bolivia. IMPRO is a small non-profit organization that has been offering micro credit to the working poor in the cities of La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia since 1995. In this first blog I describe how Kiva works by using the example of IMPRO in Bolivia.
Before beginning my placement as a Kiva Fellow, I tended to view the Kiva model simply in terms of members lending to borrowers and borrowers paying back. It was hard to envisage the intricacies of an MFI’s operations and what goes into facilitating a loan. In my eyes the MFI was the middle man; an amorphous mass that made things happen. Of course, the simple fact is that without MFIs Kiva would not exist.Of course, the simple fact is that without MFIs Kiva would not exist. They share an equal responsibility with the lenders and the borrowers in ensuring that Kiva’s mission – ‘to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty’ – is achieved.
By Nick Hamilton, KF13, Dominican Republic and Haiti (more…)