Posts tagged ‘KF16 (Kiva Fellows 16th Class)’

Same Continent, Different Worlds: Part 2

By Kiva Fellows in Africa, KF16
Compiled by Tejal Desai

Ow de body! Are Sierra Leone and Rwanda still danger zones? What challenges do Ugandans most commonly face? Kiva Fellows from KF16 bring you another unique perspective from the diverse and vast continent of Africa! We patched together an overview of each of our placement countries that includes: basic socioeconomic stats, common stereotypes (and to what extent they are true or false), greatest challenges, most common loan products at our respective field partners, and the borrowers’ most common use of their profits. Our part 2 series follows the Kiva Fellows through Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Uganda. We hope our summaries give you a new perspective on the continent and its distinct countries that we’ve been fortunate to explore, thanks to the Kiva fellowship!

Continue Reading 2 January 2012 at 13:00

Producto Creer: How for a Bank Doing the Right Thing Can Pay Off

By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF16, Guayaquil (Ecuador)

My host and Kiva´s partner organization Banco D-MIRO provides over ten different types of microloans to borrowers in and around Guayaquil: among them loans to finance housing improvements, school expenses, medication, and loans awarded specifically to employees, young clients with a business idea but no experience, and – as Ecuador´s only microfinance institution – discount loans for HIV-positive micro-entrepreneurs. Yet, one borrower group beats all other borrowers in their dedication and commitment to paying back their loans on time: the well over 400 disabled borrowers of Banco D-MIRO, whose payment discipline has turned “their” loan – “Producto Creer” (“Product Believe”) – into the most successful and inspirational product of D-MIRO´s extensive spectrum. The delinquency rate of Producto Creer is by far lower than that of any other major micro-loan type of Banco D-MIRO, which means that borrowers of Producto Creer are better at paying back their monthly rates than any other client group! In these times of economic and social turmoil, Banco D-MIRO´s Producto Creer may be a much needed reminder that it may pay off for banks to do the morally right thing.

Continue Reading 20 December 2011 at 04:00 1 comment

And the Winner Is…………

By Jill Hall, KF16, Philippines

“And the winner is……..ppprrrrrmmmmmmm” (drum roll). Now, if you are anything like me, the image in your head is of some famous actress or actor fumbling with a large envelope, complaining about how is it hard to open. Luckily, for this post, we are going skip the envelope and talk about a winner who is a little closer to home for this Kiva Fellow. The winner I am talking about is CCT’s very own, Andresa Javines, who is Citi Bank’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” (MOTY) for Mindanao, Philippines.

Continue Reading 14 December 2011 at 07:00 3 comments

A Typical Day in the Life of a Kiva Fellow: Loan Officer Training (Video Blog Post)

By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF 16, Guayaquil (Ecuador)

Video posts on a “typical day” in the life of a Kiva Fellow are a time-honored tradition on the Fellows Blog. Without any more words, here is my contribution to the video series of documenting a typical day in the life of a Kiva fellow. Like all previous contributors to the series, I am keenly aware that there is no “typical day” for Kiva Fellows. But taken together, the growing number of “typical day”-videos may at least convey something of the diversity, unpredictability, spontaneity, and joy that a typical untypical day of a Kiva Fellowship entails. Enjoy!

Continue Reading 6 December 2011 at 04:00 3 comments

Stuff Kiva Fellows Like #10-17

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…)

25 November 2011 at 16:00 6 comments

Multi-faceted Borrowers Part 2

By Abhinab Basnyat, KF 16, Nepal

Part 1 of this series is available at here

Similar to Narayan Devi, Binu is a multi-faceted entrepreneur. A previous Kiva loan helped her fund a tailoring business where she was able to employ a few other people. As a single mother, she recently moved to another part of town to be closer to her brother. Upon moving she closed her tailoring shop. The distance made it expensive and difficult to travel and manage her shop. One option would have been to start another tailoring business in her new locality. As an entrepreneur who is constantly looking out for new opportunities and has a desire to learn new skills she decided to open a small canteen.

Binu infront of her canteen

Her new residence is located close to a hospital, and after an initial survey of the area she noticed that the hospital did not have a canteen to serve the medical students, doctors and patients. Drawing from her brother’s experience in the restaurant business Binu received a loan to kickstart her small canteen. In the hour that I visited there was a steady flow of students who came for a quick snack between classes, doctors between shifts, and patients. Serving to a medical community, Binu is especially aware of the need to provide safe, tasty, hygienic snacks.

Medical student books and snacks

Binu infront of the counter

As I became more aware of Binu’s business acumen and desire to take measured risks, I inquired about her entrepreneurial drive. As a single mother, Binu is motivated, knowing that her wellbeing depends on her handwork, and her desire to provide her son with a good education. In the past even she had even ventured into growing mushrooms to sell in the local market, and explored going into the wholesale clothing business. The support of BPW-Patan and Kiva have been instrumental in providing borrowers like Binu and Narayan Devi the necessary financial resources to become a multi-faceted entrepreneur and improve their livelihoods.

Binu with her son

Although, these borrowers provided me with a first hand experience on how micro-finance impacted peoples’ lives, the nagging question in my mind had always been: how can micro-finance be scaled? For example, the purchase of a cow to sell milk provides an opportunity to generate income, but the scalability of this endeavor is limited until a second cow is purchased, and so forth. The industrious and multi-faceted entrepreneurship of Binu and Narayan Devi provided another dimension to micro-finance. There were borrowers who were actively taking measured risks and starting new micro-ventures. A single activity might not be scalable; but the desire and agility to transition and supplement one’s activity definitely yields the opportunity for greater returns.

Abhinab Basnyat is currently serving as a  Kiva Fellow in Nepal with BPW-Patan. To learn more about BPW-Patan go to their Field Partner Page on the Kiva website. Check out the BPW Patan Lending Team and consider making a loan to a woman entrepreneur from Nepal.

23 November 2011 at 08:00 1 comment

Multi-faceted Borrowers Part 1

By Abhinab Basnyat, KF 16, Nepal

I had always been fascinated by the textbook stories in micro-finance: loans to buy cattle or to start a small tea-shop that supported income generating activities and had a tangible impact on people’s lives. When I met Kiva borrowers, Narayan Devi and Binu, and heard their stories I suddenly had the visceral confirmation that had been amiss in textbooks. Yes, micro-finance loans played an influential role to uplift livelihoods. But more importantly, it was the borrowers’ multi-faceted entrepreneurship that magnified the impact of micro-finance.

A Kiva loan helped Naryan Devi, a mother of two, buy supplies for her store, which she runs with her husband. Her small shop while profitable to repay her loans is not enough to sustain her family and send her children to school. Narayan Devi is a multi-faceted entrepreneur who is always looking to learn new skills and apply her business acumen to new opportunities.

Narayan Devi at store with her husband

Two years ago Narayan Devi took a training on making a traditional Nepal sweet – pustakari  that is made up of khoa (a cheese like milk based product), peanut powder, sugar.

Narayan Devi making pustakari

She spent her spare time during the past six months experimenting and perfecting the sweet making process. For the last two months she has been producing batches enough to sell in her shop and the surrounding area. Sale of pustakaris have supplemented Narayan Devi’s income.

Packaged pustakari for sale

Unfortunately, some of the major sweet producers in the the Nepali were recently found to be producing sub-standard pustakaris. This resulted in an overall drop in demand for these sweets. In response, farmers in the upstream market have stopped converting their milk to khoa – an essential ingredient in the sweet making process. Since, Narayan Devi caters to her local market people still trust and purchase her sweets; however, she is facing difficulty in procuring the raw materials. Narayan Devi is hopeful that her small home enterprise will not be shuttered, and consumers will continue to love the traditional Nepali sweet.

As a multi-faceted entrepreneur, along with her shop and sweet making enterprise, Narayan Devi is an experienced carpet weaver. She learned this craft as a kid working during the school holidays, and occasionally takes on weaving projects for extra income.

Abhinab Basnyat is currently serving as a  Kiva Fellow in Nepal with BPW-Patan. To learn more about BPW-Patan go to their Field Partner Page on the Kiva website. Check out the BPW Patan Lending Team and consider making a loan to a woman entrepreneur from Nepal.

18 November 2011 at 08:00 1 comment

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