Paying It Forward
One of the missions of Bella Domain Media is to help other women with their own small businesses. One of the ways I hope to achieve this is to financially support a business that is aligned with our values.
Kiva is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, California. Leveraging the Internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. They envision a world where all people, even in the most remote areas of the globe, hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.
Bella Domain Media had made a small loan to Jane from NYC. Jane is a creative woman who in 2007 developed a portable first aid pouch for dogs, which won the 2014 Editor’s Choice Award from Pet Product News International. She’s planning to add to her product line and she’s already paid me back since the loan was made.
I encourage my clients and business partners to check out and support the wonderful work that Kiva is doing and become involved by making a loan or donating towards administration costs. In my opinion, it’s one of the best examples of the “pay it forward” principle in action. I expect to continue to fund other entrepreneurial women.
A loan was made to resilient farmer Tabitha from Naymira, Kenya:
Tabitha was raised in a family that lived in extreme poverty, and she did not have the opportunity to advance her education. However, this did not kill her dream of wanting to succeed in life. Farming skills are the only thing she inherited from her poor parents. Tabitha has a farm where she grows crops and raises livestock. She also earns some income from a personal business. She never had a formal education and is content with the farming lifestyle.
Tabitha was seeking a loan to buy seeds and start horticulture farming on her farm. She wants to take advantage of favorable weather patterns, a good road network in her village, good soil, and a ready market for horticulture products to reap more profits. Tabitha hopes that, with the loan, she will improve her living conditions. With an improved income, she will be able to assure her children a secure future and uninterrupted learning because she will be able to pay tuition fees on time. She repaid her loan in full in April 2019.
Margaret is a hardworking Kenyan woman who, even though single, has been blessed with two children. Her being a single parent in Githurai, Kenya has brought out her tenacity, aggressiveness, and creativity in business which has enabled her to learn a lot from her business of which she is grateful for. She seeks a loan that helps to add stock of more shoes for selling. And it has even led to some of her customers asking for her advice when they are deciding on which shoes to buy from her. She enjoys clothing her customers as they come to shop from her. This loan will greatly assist her business meet her customers’ demand as she will be able to add stock of shoes to her business and pay back her loan using her profits. She dreams of expanding her business to lift her family’s living standards. Margaret repaid her loan in full in January 2020.
Margaret is a mother and an entrepreneur. She is a Kenyan by nationality and runs a mobile money and airtime business in one of the refugee camps in Kenya. She started very small and became more passionate to grow the business. She has secured a strategic location that is in a center where people meet to purchase daily needed items.
A loan helps to increase the rotating amount of money in her mobile transactions business, as well as introduce new products, such as phone accessories, to meet the demand of customers.
Aid organizations like UNHCR and WFP have shifted from food/item assistance to cash-based assistance. This creates more rotations of cash through mobile phones, which explains an increased demand of her services. Despite this, she is always having working capital shortages that leave a portion of her customers not adequately served.
Margaret was an active participant in the AEC training program, where she was eager to learn how to grow her business even further. Hence a loan to Margaret will assist her in having a regular float of working capital and being better able to serve her customers.
You can learn more at www.kiva.org.
And speaking of Kenya….
At the current rate of Elephants being slaughtered for their tusks to make ‘Ivory’- it is forecasted that we could see the end of wild elephants across Africa in less than a decade. WILD is a film about the life of Elephants behind the Ivory Trade and Poaching Crisis in Kenya. What is happening to these keepers of the earth, what happens to the earth when there are no more keepers, and what is being done to protect the lives of these magical sentient beings. We hear from Julius- an elephant keeper at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust orphan’s nursery in Nairobi, Nick Trent- SWT’s pilot working together with The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in Kenya’s massive Tsavo National Park and the many elephants that have taken refuge at the SWT facilities as they physically and emotionally rehabilitate to return to the wild where the land has become a battlefield between man and nature.
The time to act is now – and there is so much we can do.
Begin by getting involved here: https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/.
You can help too by donating online to support the orphan’s rehabilitation process and the anti-poaching efforts of SWT. This is the beginning of restoring our connection to our home- the earth- and maintaining a safe wilderness for elephants to survive. To join me in fostering an orphaned baby elephant (or 2!) or support SWT’s efforts, please visit: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/
Please also consider donating to the Marine Mammal Center via this fundraising page. Thank you!