When I set out to blog about the entrepreneurs that Mansueto Ventures sponsored through Kiva.org, I wanted to provide readers with as many details as possible about the day-to-day lives of small business owners in developing countries and how exactly access to microfinance was impacting their operations.
As you can imagine, it is not a simple task to connect directly with entrepreneurs in developing communities, as most do not have access to communication technology. So far, what I have learned about the entrepreneurs we sponsored and what I have reported here on this blog has come from examining the background profiles and photos posted on Kiva's website of each borrower. However, this snapshot is only part of their story, and as a journalist, I felt it my duty to uncover as much of the individual's story as possible.
This is where Kiva comes in. The organization's staff has been amazingly instrumental in getting me access to the information I desired. I have connected with several Kiva fellows, volunteers who are stationed in countries all over the world where Kiva has microfinance partners. These fellows are working on the ground to facilitate the smooth transaction between the local lending institutions and their clients. As such, many of these fellows have the chance to visit with entrepreneurs in their homes and places of business.