Friday, November 9, 2012

Week in Review: Kiva's weekend reading list

With the weather turning cold -- even at our headquarters in San Francisco -- this weekend feels like the perfect time catch up on some reading in a cozy cafe or on the couch.

At Kiva, we're always reading and learning about microfinance and other global development issues -- and we know our lenders are often just as interested in these topics. So, without further ado, here are some articles and sites we'd recommend taking a look at over a warm cup of tea:

An International Financier, on a Teensy Scale -- (The New York Times) -- Author and activist Bob Harris has been one of our most active supporters and lenders for years. He's invested a whopping $20,000 in 5,000 loans in 63 countries and has gotten almost all of it repaid. Now he's writing about his experience traveling to meet some of the people he helped fund in his new book "The International Bank of Bob" due out in March. Read this article to learn more and hear what has Bob so inspired about micro-lending. We can't wait to read the book!

The author with friend met during his travels.

Helping small businesses recover from Hurricane Sandy -- (Accion East) -- Many small businesses in the Tri-state area were hit hard by Sandy and are still dealing with damaged merchandise and storefronts, not to mention the income lost by shutting down for days. To help these entrepreneurs recover, our partner Accion East is collecting donations to fund hurricane relief microloans. We salute these efforts and hope you'll join them at

Urging U.S. entrepreneurs to invest in Pakistan -- (Pakistan Daily Times) -- Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Sherry Rehman, recently called for American business leaders to invest in Pakistan's microfinance sector and other areas of business to help jumpstart the country's economy. Rehman acknowledged the many benefits microfinance has already yielded and hopes to see its influence grow. Kiva is proud to have a very strong presence in Pakistan through socially-driven Field Partners like Asasah -- giving you the opportunity to invest in the country's future today!

A Collection of True Microfinance Stories -- (Huffington Post) -- We stumbled onto the book "Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories" via this article on HuffPo, which includes one of these amazing anecdotes. All of the stories featured in the book were sourced from Zidisha Microfinance, a crowdfunding website for low-income, computer-savvy entrepreneurs looking to raise loans themselves (and one of Kiva's most distinguished peers in the micro-lending movement). We had to share this rich source of stories showing the change microfinance can make in people's lives.

Join Opportunity Fund's Savings Club! -- (Opportunity Fund) -- Opportunity Fund is a nonprofit that helps thousands of California families build financial stability. This year, its annual fundraising campaign is all about helping these families open savings accounts -- a truly worth cause. Savings accounts empower people to build their own safety nets and weather potentially crippling expenses. Nothing tells this story better than some of the video stories Opportunity Fund has produced for its campaign. As soon as Melissa's story landed in our inbox, we were inspired, and we hope you will be too: 

Have recommendations for us? Send them our way at!