I will begin my experience as a Kiva Fellow in late January, when I will fly to Mexico City to work to align Kiva's operations with those of three partner social ventures - Frogtek (Mexico City), Sistema Biobolsa (Puebla), and Union Regional de Huatusco (Huatusco, Veracruz). Watch my video if you'd like to know more about the specifics of my work for Kiva!
Originally from Bakersfield, California, I graduated from Stanford University in 2009 and am currently based in San Francisco.
I'm passionate about exploring market solutions to social and economic problems. I've had the privilege of spending the past three years at a fast-growing start-up working to transform the inefficient marketplace for technology patents through a service model that emphasizes rationality and transparency in its valuation of an exploding but little understood asset class.
Through my extended Peruvian family, I'm very lucky to have been exposed to the rich culture and strong family and community ties of Latin America early and often. I've also developed a profound appreciation for the unique social and economic challenges that have historically confronted Central and South America; my interest in innovative, paradigm-shifting approaches to overcoming these challenges is a big part of what led me to Kiva.
My Budget & Fundraising Goal Explained
I estimate that my four-month fellowship will incur ~$7,000 - $8,000 in total expenses:
- Lodging budget - $3,000 ($750 / month)
- Utilities - $300 ($75 / month)
- Fellowship travel budget - $1,500 (assuming 4-5 roundtrip bus tickets to Puebla or Huatusco from Mexico City per month + incidental travel for borrower verification and other remote work)
- Visa - $32 for FM3 visa
- Roundtrip airfare - $350
- Cell phone plan + internet - $300 ($75 / month)
- Immunizations - $200
- Food - $2,000 ($15 / day)
- Emergency - $500
My goal for the campaign is to raise roughly half of this amount, or $4,000. In return for your social investment, I'll provide regular reports via a blog that I update regularly with photos, stories and takeaways about the impact of the work Kiva is doing with the field partners.
Kiva Fellows are selected from a competitive applicant pool and are the "glue" that holds Kiva's global network of microfinance institutions and non-traditional partners together. They serve as volunteers without pay, motivated by a belief in Kiva's mission, a desire to engage with the international community, and, more simply, to make the world a better place.
Social impact is not a good or service we consume out of necessity, and there's no guarantee (or even the suggestion of a guarantee) that it will confer any kind of competitive advantage to the buyer. As a result, very few of the usual incentive structures or market drivers are in place to support a strong, self-sustaining "industry of social impact".
The absence of such factors notwithstanding, social impact is worth something to most of us, and we recognize the clear, collective value proposition that the right social impact project can present. Those of us fortunate enough to live in developed countries with a strong middle class, relatively abundant credit, and higher than average disposable incomes are in an ideal position to support social work we believe in.
On a pro-rata basis, my fundraising goal would project to an annual salary of $12,000. If you feel this hypothetical salary is justified by the social impact of my work with Kiva, I hope you will consider making a contribution - and no amount is too small!
Other Ways You Can Help
If you believe in the value of my work as a Kiva Fellow and would like to support it in some way, but just aren't in a position to contribute, don't worry! There are other ways you can help:
- Get the word out to friends you think would be interested in hearing about what I'm doing
- Like my Facebook page! (http://www.facebook.com/PaulsKivaFellowship)
- Put me in touch with any contacts you may have in Mexico City (anybody at all!)
- Drop me a line about any interesting social projects you've heard of or social enterprise models you think are promising or worth knowing about
- Find a worthy borrower and make a loan on Kiva!