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Katherine is a recent graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she studied International Business and French. She is currently working at a private equity firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Katherine loves to travel, and recently spent her summer volunteering in Mauritius.
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!
Jason is from Bellingham, Massachusetts, a small suburb between Providence and Boston. He is currently enrolled as an undergraduate student majoring in international business at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. After working in the commercial and personal loan industry he became interested in microfinancing. When Jason is not working or attending school, he is interested in Boston-based sports teams, meeting new people, and spending time with family and friends. After graduation he plans to work in the personal finance industry while earning his MBA.
2013 is here, and like many of you I’m taking a moment to reflect on the year that was. 2012 was a great year! I joined Zidisha (a microfinance platform) in February and have since immersed my self in the interesting world of microfinance. I came to Zidisha with a basic understating of how microfinance works. Like many of you, I had seen what kind of differences Kiva was making in the world on TV and through various publications. During a break from class work I happened to stumble upon Kiva’s Wikipedia page and learnt that their interest rates were unexpectedly high. In fact, I had initially thought that Kiva loans were issued at 0% interest. In what some call fate, and I consider blind luck, I found my way onto Zidisha’s Wikipedia page and as they say, “The rest is history.”
Microfinance is a wonderful system. We all know the difference that a loan can make in its recipients life. What I found truly great about microfinance is its ability to make people aware. Think about it, how often do you hear about Africa, or other poor regions of the world, on the news station? When you do it’s probably because some awful natural event or political upheaval has occurred. Those interested in microfinance have the unique opportunity to hear about the little victories. The Kenyan mother you lent money to who can afford school for her children will not make the headline news. However, you know in some small corner of the world you made someone’s life better. Perhaps we all need to hear some good news once in a while. 2012 has been great in many ways, but we still have our attention focused on the tragedies that have occurred. For my part, I plan to take notice of the small victories in the world over the next year. Perhaps my perspective on the world will change with my new vantage point. Maybe you will try to see the world in a new light as well. Whatever is in store for us all in 2013 I’m sure that microfinance will continue to change the world that we live in.