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Hi, I'm a finance blogger who is interested in how different financial tools, including microfinance, can deliver real value to consumers.
Kiva Small Business Advisor for the Greater Seattle area. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently a Master of Public Administration (MPA) student at Bowling Green State. University in Bowling Green, Ohio, USA. Specializing in International Development with focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
I work in Advertising Operations at Zillow, but LOVE microfinance. I'm always interested in startups, especially non-profits, reach out to me if you're working on anything cool!
For the past five months, I have been living and working in Mexico for an organization (Investours.org) that combines microfinance with tourism. I had read extensively about the history of microfinance and the work being done all over the world. I had a pretty good idea about microfinance and its potential to create sustained positive change, but it wasn’t until I got on the ground that I could fully appreciate the impact being made.
It has been meeting the clients and hearing about their daily lives that has given me the real story. One inspiring example is Javier: a fisherman and father of 4 who lives in the small town of Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico. Javier is one of the most hardworking individuals I have ever met. His business is tri-layered: at night, he takes advantage of the lack of boats on the water to do all of his fishing. He leaves at 9pm with his fishing equipment (including a huge spear for catching sting rays!) and doesn’t arrive back home until after 1am. He then wakes up before sunrise to use the fish from the night’s catch to prepare a delicious ceviche (traditional Latin American dish made by cooking raw fish with fresh lime juice). At around 1pm, he loads his truck with coolers of fresh ceviche and soda, and brings his products to the local hotels and gas stations to sell to the hungry workers!
Think all that keeps him busy enough? Javier also does contract work building and painting houses in the neighborhood. He built his own house, and with his most recent micro-loan he will be remodeling his kitchen so he can make even bigger batches of ceviche!
Javier is just one inspiring example of the types of people microfinance supports: people with ingenuity, drive, integrity–and did I mention hard work??
I am so grateful that through my work with Investours, I can introduce tourists to inspiring entrepreneurs like Javier who are being supported by microfinance and also support local businesses with an interest-free loans (funded by tour fees).