Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Day 3 Afternoon

After designing our FIFA tournament poster we then reviewed our speeches and presentation in preparation to present for Mr. Anderson and Mr. Poffenberger. We are then planning to spend about 30 minutes doing our presentation. After we are done presenting we are going to take any critiques from the presentation and try to revise it. 

Working in the Library

Service Learning Day 3 (morning)

This morning we went to work in the library. We started the day by perfecting each of our speeches. Then, each one of us uploaded our information to our Prezi (presentation). Once our information was uploaded we made sure our presentation was organized. After completing our presentation we are now working on designs for our FIFA tournament's poster. This tournament has been approved through Sage and requires a $5 buy in and the proceeds will go to Kiva and towards a prize for the winner of the tournament.

After we are done reviewing our speeches and presentation we plan on presenting to Mr. Anderson and Mr. Poffenberger in order to recieve any feedback on our presentation. Then, we will take these critiques and adjust our speeches and presentation accordingly.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Goals for Service Learning Day 3

For the following Service Learning, we plan to meet between now and then. We plan on finishing the presentation, perfecting it as a whole. We also intend on becoming fluent in our speeches and rehearsing with each other. We already have a couple of potential places we can present to. All we need to do is contact these businesses and set up a date and time for us to come in.

Everything is going smoothly!

Reflection of Service Learning Day 2

Today we were able to get a lot of work done. We started our day in the library writing speeches for our presentations on Kiva. After writing our own speeches we all read each others speeches and gave feedback to one another to perfect each section of our presentation. After editing each others speeches our morning tasks were completed. In the afternoon, we came back to the library to research more on Kiva through videos and documents on the internet. From this research we were able to come up with a comprehensive version of what we think Kiva is and what it does to help people around the world. After this research we began working on our presentation theme and began adding slides to our presentation on the Prezi website.

Practicing Speeches on Service Learning Day 2 (afternoon)

Nikki practicing her portion of the presentation to our group

Sample of a Presentation Slide

Service Learning Day 2 (afternoon)

Wesley and Nikki picking out pictures to match our presentation theme

 Aryan researching microfinance and understanding the basic concepts of loans in our AP Economics textbook

Nellie updating our blog posts and adding to her script for the presentation

Service Learning Day 2 (afternoon)

After doing more thorough research on Kiva we decided to better understand the breakdown of how Kiva functions as whole. After watching countless videos and looking through many different documents regarding Kiva we have decided to compile a basic understanding of how Kiva functions. Below are a few paragraphs we wrote regarding our findings:

All of us want to donate to charity and there are any worthy organizations asking for money but we don’t know where it goes and how much of it gets to people in need.
On the internet it is being changed due to microfinance.

In the third world small time borrowers need low dollar loans, these budding business people don’t want millions of dollars a few hundreds would do. Most banks aren’t in touch with businesses that small but a number of websites put third worlders in touch with first worlders like us. using charitable urge to raise capital. some microfinance sites are highly targeted, but kiva is the most efficient. It is the most successful is kiva established in 2005 by Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackery (stanford business school) they are partners with more than 50 microfinance corporations around the world. they put the money in the hands of those in need and upload the story of each loan to Kiva’s website creating an online catalogue.

People can loan and earn money back. They then take that repaid money and pass the money on to help many other people. Traditional aid organizations set aside money for Admin costs, but Kiva doesn’t work. Kiva doesn’t work that way. Kiva admin works in the different way and is funded through other donations. Lenders can choose whether to contribute to admin, aid or both. 100% of the money we promise to developing nations end up in developing nations.

Website’s statistics are updated daily.

We were able to provide a loan to someone in Cambodia in 15 minute must by visiting a website. Online microfinance sites won’t fix poverty on their own, but the personal connection of the web has the potential to make a huge difference.

The Speeches We Wrote on the Morning of Service Learning Day 2

Below is all the information we want to share individually during our presentations. Our speeches that are included in this post will not be said verbatim, but we will be including all aspects of the written speeches below.

Aryan: KIVA is not a charity. It is one of the few non profit organizations that follows through with its mission statement without handouts and donations. Basically, KIVA is an organization that strives to alleviate poverty in developing countries through the process of micro loaning. They do this by establishing connections with a third party in these impoverished countries, known as field partners, which take our loans and send them to needy entrepreneurs. The role of field partners is to review loan requests from local entrepreneurs and send information regarding their business to us, on the kiva website. So overall, the process entails three stages: entrepreneurs ask for a certain sum of money, field partners examine and review such requests, and then entrepreneurs receive a series of micro loans from people all over the world. In the end, all loans are paid back without interest. So far, there has been more than 525 billion dollars loaned in over 73 countries at a 98% payback rate. This micro loaning process has made an immense impact to millions of individuals around the world. With this organization, people hold the power to create an opportunity for themselves and others. In order to truly end poverty throughout the world, we need to provide a stable base for those who don’t live under the same circumstances we do. In the states, we have the ability to create a business through one of three ways. We could seek a loan through a venture capitalist, a local bank or through friends or family. Third world countries don’t have these sources of capital. In most cases, the two options for entrepreneurs are to work with loan sharks or to live in subsistence. Providing a helping hand promotes capitalism and all economies worldwide. In the end, people live longer, happier and in better living conditions.

Nikki: Kiva was founded in October 2005 by Matt Flannery and Jessica Jackley.The couple's initial interest in microfinance was inspired by a 2003 lecture given by Grameen Bank's Muhammad Yunus at Stanford Business School. Jessica Jackley, worked at the school and invited Matt Flannery to attend the presentation; this was the first time Flannery had heard of microfinance, but it served as a "call to action" for Jessica. Soon after, Jackley began working as a consultant for the nonprofit Village Enterprise Fund, which worked to help start small businesses in East Africa. While visiting Jessica in Africa, Flannery and Jackley spent time interviewing entrepreneurs about the problems they faced in starting ventures and found the lack of access to start-up capital was a common theme. After returning from Africa, they began developing their plan for a microfinance project that would grow into Kiva, which means "unity" in Swahili.  In April 2005, Kiva's first seven loans were funded, totaling $3,500, and the original entrepreneurs were subsequently deemed the "Dream Team”. By September 2005, the entrepreneurs repaid the entirety of their original loans, and the founders realized they had developed a sustainable microcredit concept. After the success of Kiva's initial stage, Flannery and Jackley founded Kiva as a non-profit. In 2006, notable entrepreneurs and businessmen joined Kiva's staff, including Premal Shah from PayPal and Reid Hoffman CEO and founder of Linkedin. Shortly after its first anniversary in October 2006, Kiva reached $1 million in facilitated loans and acquired its twentieth field partner. To the present day, Kiva has continued to grow and expand its field partners while acquiring support from the media and the public.

Nellie: Introduction to my presentation -- Kiva's work is made possible through an extensive network of microfinance organizations around the world. Kiva calls these microfinance organizations Field Partners. Kiva’s Field Partners are responsible for screening borrowers, posting loan requests to Kiva, disbursing loans and collecting repayments, and otherwise administering Kiva loans. Kiva currently has 240 field partners all around the world that assist Kiva in conducting Kiva loans. Field Partners are the critical on the ground link to borrowers: These institutions have entered into an agreement with Kiva to become one of our Field Partners. There is no direct legal relationship between Kiva lenders and Kiva borrowers. Therefore, Field Partners are responsible for the disbursement and collection of Kiva loans. Reviewing loan applications and posting loan requests on Kiva: Kiva Field Partners typically target impoverished or marginalized areas to review loan applications and approve borrowers who demonstrate a need for a loan and a reasonable likelihood of repayment. Each borrower requesting a loan through Kiva has been reviewed and approved by a local Field Partner.The majority of borrowers on Kiva are vetted(examined) by microfinance institutions. There are a variety of lending methods that Kiva's Field Partners use. One common methods is to lend to borrowers who belong to a borrowing group. For example, a group of 4 women from the same village who know each other well would be considered as a borrowing group. In some cases, when groups are bound by a group guarantee, loans to one member of the group are contingent on the other group members repaying on time. Because each member's livelihood depends on other members' repayment, a form of peer monitoring and support develops which helps ensure high repayment rates. Loans directly to individual borrowers are also common, especially as the borrower proves his or her credit-worthiness in a group setting. Some of the borrowers on Kiva are vetted by Field Partners whose core business is not microfinance. In this case, the loan review process varies considerably from partner to partner and can depend on the partner's experience with a borrower, a borrower's capacity to repay, or a borrower's future earnings. Information about the core business of that Field Partner and the loan products they fund on Kiva is contained on each Field Partner's profile page. Once a loan is approved by the Field Partner, the Field Partner takes a picture of the borrower, provides a description of the loan use, and posts the profile information of that borrower to Kiva for funding. Disbursing and Collecting Your Loans: When you lend to a borrower, Kiva delivers the funds to the local Field Partner. The Field Partner will then make collections on that loan. Typically, loan officers will travel out to the borrower’s location, which is typically a rural village, and collect a repayment on a regular basis, which could be weekly or monthly. Borrowers are often able to pay the loan officer the full amount due, on time, without any issues. On occasion, a borrower or Field Partner may be late in payments. You can view each Field Partner's delinquency rate. Once funds are collected and approved for distribution, the Field Partner delivers funds under the net billing system to Kiva and Kiva's software system automatically distributes the repayments to each Kiva lender.

Wesley: Making a loan on Kiva is very simple. I will demonstrate how to create an account and make a loan in as short as five minutes. To register for an account, and the websites requires that you provide your credit card information to make a loan. Next, you select a local entrepreneur to make your loan to. To choose a borrower, you able to select a candidate by your own country, gender and sector preferences. In the process, you are able to click on the borrower to view their status(REpayment schedule, repayment rate, and field partners information) and stories.
Once you decided your borrower, then you can click the “lend” button to make a loan starting from $25 up to $150.  You will get your money back in the repayment term(the time for the borrowers to pay back the loans). You can repeat the process to make more loans. This how you make loans on Kiva and help entrepreneurs around the world.

Working Hard in the Library on Service Learning Day 2 (Morning)

Service Learning Day 2 (Morning)

Today, we met at Sage and decided to spend a few hours of our morning in the library researching. We plan to be able to successfully create a script for our presentation that we plan to present to businesses interested in meeting with us to learn more about Kiva. Overall, this is what we want to get done in the morning. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Nellie and Nikki Researching on Service Learning Day 1

Want to Join Our Team on Kiva?

To join our team and assist entrepreneurs around the world click on the link below:

Wesley and Aryan Researching on Service Learning Day 1

Outline for Service Learning Day 2

On our first service learning day we focused on research. Therefore, on our second service learning day we plan to focus on touching up and creating a final presentation for the businesses we plan to present to. In the meantime we are in the process of trying to find businesses that will allow us to present the concept of Kiva to them. In order to be successful during our presentation in front of businesses we are planning, for our second service learning day, to have a few mock presentations in front of teachers such as Mr. Anderson and any others who will be able to watch us present and give us any critiques regarding our presentation technique. Also, in order to perfect our presentation even further, we plan to get in contact members of previous Kiva Service Learning groups that would be able to provide us with any extra first hand advice.

More About Us

Our Service Learning group for Kiva consists of four members, in order to be efficient we have divided all the tasks required to be successful among ourselves.

Nikki Parmar: My job is to research the story of Kiva, how it was started, why it was developed and learn more about the individual people who started Kiva.
Wesley Jiang: My job is to research the process of how to make a loan. This includes how to set up an account on Kiva, join groups on Kiva, and overall be able to navigate around
Nellie Hamadani: My job is to research the majority of the terms regarding the concept of microfinance/microloans. Also, I am in charge of knowing how to explain how the field agents involved with Kiva work, how the loans are processed.
Aryan Assar: My job is to research how Kiva works overall, why it is important, how it has made an impact, and what it provides for people in developing countries.

Day 1 - Research and Learning More About Kiva

Today was our first day of Service Learning Day!

We started by familiarizing ourselves with everything regarding Kiva. We focused on learning about what microfinance is, the history of modern microfinance, microfinance institutions, and the microfinance impact and outcomes. We used this information to answer the question "Why don't banks serve poor people?" Then we researched costs, interest rates, and  sustainability.

First off, microfinance is the supply of loans, savings, and other basic financial services. Kiva is using this concept of microfinance/microloans in order to help struggling entrepreneurs all around the world. Kiva is able to provide the money for these loans by small loans made on their website, In order to contribute to a loan anyone can create an online account on the Kiva website and with the easy click of a button and credit card information, someone can make a loan. Loans start at as low as $25 and the loans are paid back with 0% interest. The reason Kiva is able to make a difference is because these loans are able to help entrepreneurs in developing economies who are unable to support their ideas or businesses with a financial backing. Kiva is simply a way to connect people in developed economies to assist those who are in need of financial support easily. Without the assistance of Kiva's members thousands of entrepreneurs around the world would not be able to hold the power to create opportunity for themselves. The great part about Kiva is that 100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes directly towards funding loans; Kiva does not take a portion of the profits.

Some statistics about Kiva:

Since Kiva was founded in 2005:

1,038,876 kiva lenders
$516,238,900 in loans 
99.00% repayment rate

Kiva works with:

237 field partners 
450 volunteers around the world
73 different countries 

Why don't banks serve poor people?
Formal financial institutions were not designed to help those who don't already have financial assets - they were designed to help those who do. So what do poor people do? Credit is available from informal commercial and non-commerical money-lenders but usually at a very high cost to borrowers. Some banks do provide savings services. Banks provide savings services such as savings services are available through a variety of informal relationships like savings clubs, rotating savings and credit associations, and mutual insurance societies that have a tendency to be erratic and insecure." However, the majority of formal banks do not provide microfinance products because microfinance is an expensive enterprise - one can make a lot more money on a large loan than a small loan, and you won't make much money holding savings accounts with very little funds in them. Banks can make more money if they only provide financial services to those who already have money.