Kiva Impact Report: Uplifting Entrepreneurs $100 at a Time

Kiva Impact Report: Uplifting Entrepreneurs $100 at a Time

A woman approached me as I was preparing for my lessons for the day. I was in Kairi, a rural village in Kenya, teaching some basic business skills classes to members of a microfinance group.

She introduced herself as Alice.

In our class the day before, I taught a lesson on managing money in a small business. I used a fictional business owner named Alice to illustrate the importance of keeping business money and personal money separate.

Alice was her real name, and she told me that today she is a “new Alice” after my lesson. She continued, “No more will I be the old Alice who is not wise with her money!”

It was at that moment I realized the power of what we were doing. (You can read more about this experience and more in The Unlikely Missionary: From Pew-Warmer to Poverty-Fighter.)

I’ve been a huge fan of microfinance ever since.

And that’s why I’ve made it an initiative of ours to support microfinance projects this year. Our goal is to help provide opportunities for small business owners, especially in underserved areas.

We’re working through Kiva, a top-rated charity who bridges the gap between people and entrepreneurs around the world. Kiva’s mission is “to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.”

After six months of working on this project, this is our first Kiva Impact Report.

Empowering Entrepreneurs Globally

The best thing about microfinance is that it isn’t about donating free money to people. These are small loans designed to enable an entrepreneur to grow their business. This allows small business owners to not only provide for their families, but many of them also create jobs in their communities.

In our efforts this year, we’ve supported microloans for people like:

  • Osterman in Columbia (pictured above) – As a farmer, he used the loan to hire local laborers to help him build drainage canals for better irrigation for his crops. His loan is currently 13% repaid.
  • Shoyra in Tajikistan (below, left) – Her loan was used to buy a sewing machine and start a new business sewing women’s clothing. Her loan is currently 21% repaid.
  • Wilmer in Ecuador (below, right) – He owns a taxi, and his loan helped him do maintenance and change the tires on his taxi. He also got additional business training to go with the loan. His loan is already 73% repaid.

Each of these entrepreneurs has dreams, not unlike my own, to grow a business so they can better support their families. Many are working to improve their homes and pay for education for their children (something often taken for granted in a country where we have free public education).

Every one of these microloans gets them one step closer to fulfilling their goals and dreams.

Using Kiva as a Tool To Support Microfinance

The best way I can describe what Kiva does is that it’s kind of like a Kickstarter for microloans to entrepreneurs in poverty-stricken areas around the world. (Kiva is actually older, but I know the reference would make sense.)

Their website allows you to search for borrowers by region, business sector, and/or other attributes you may want to target.

Each borrower has a profile page telling you about the loan, the story of the borrower, why the loan is special, and several other details. A loan can be for any amount, and lenders can chip in for as little as $25.

The idea is that many of us can throw in what we can to fund that entrepreneur. Together we fund the loan, and repayments are distributed back to each of us when the borrower makes their payments each month.

When that money is repaid, we can then turn it around and lend it to another entrepreneur. That means $100 initial investment can end up having a far greater impact over time as it continues to get reinvested.

Business Supporting Business

At the beginning of 2019, we started allocating $100 from each new qualified small business client who started working with us towards a microloan. So for each business client starting a new website development project or using us for our ongoing SEO services, we would make the contribution toward a business through Kiva.

As a growing business, our heart is to leverage some of our profits to support other growing businesses around the world.

Once we’ve selected an entrepreneur to fund through Kiva, we also notify the new client about what we’ve done in honor of them. Some have also joined our team on Kiva to further support a borrower (the same one, or another one they find on their own).

Focus on Poverty-Stricken Areas

While there is need everywhere, our focus so far has been on places where the communities are under-served, families are often displaced, and where poverty means that there simply isn’t an opportunity to provide the basics.

So far this year, out of 12 loans funded by Team Fistbump, all 12 are in different countries across South/Central America, Africa, and Asia.

kiva impact

While we may fund additional loans in countries we’ve already supported, our goal is to spread the love as much as we can around the world.

The Importance of Social Responsibility (and Gratitude)

There are two main reasons this is an important initiative for us this year, social responsibility and gratitude.

First, we’re driven by a desire to care for our fellow human being. This desire is rooted in our faith in God, and the Bible’s call for us to help those who have a need. As I’ve been out on missions trips around the world, I see lots of need.

So we’re using what we have to help others… not with a handout, but a hand-up.

Second, it’s about gratitude. As the founder of Fistbump Media, I’ve directly experienced what running a small business can do to provide for my family. I have a great deal of respect for others around the world who are chasing their dreams with a desire to provide well for their families.

And we’re grateful to all of the clients who have been there for us. So this is one way we can say thank you and pay forward what we’ve been given.

Our Kiva Impact Report for the First Half of 2019

In the first six months of 2019, we’ve added 8 new small business clients who have met the qualifying threshold. So that’s $800 that we’ve invested into loans so far.

With a few other small loans from team members and clients, plus a little repayment money reinvested in new loans, our total impact is $1,000 worth of microloans.

You can view the full Kiva Impact Report for Team Fistbump here:

kiva impact report

We expect the impact to grow more rapidly through the rest of the year as we continue to reinvest repayments and bring on more new small business clients. Additionally, we’d love to invite you to join the team and help us help even more people…

Final Thoughts (and an Invitation)

The impact so far has been exciting to watch! I look forward to every opportunity I get to send over another $100, or reinvest repayments from existing loans. It reminds me of conversations I’ve had with business owners on some of my missions trips when they share what kind of impact the loans have for them. It’s life-changing.

And while we’ll continue to invest as the opportunities arise, you can join us in this work too! It’s super easy…

  1. Join our team on Kiva.
  2. Find a borrower you’d like to support (through the Lend menu).
  3. At checkout, set the team assignment drop-down to Team Fistbump.

Let’s go change the world! #fistbump

3 (Not So) Secrets To Being An Awesome Blogger

3 (Not So) Secrets To Being An Awesome Blogger

3 (Not So) Secrets To Being An Awesome Blogger

Category: Writer Strategy
Skill Level: All Levels

Building an awesome blog is hard work. And having the right strategy is crucial to your success. Too many bloggers rely on an “if you build it, they will come” strategy. And then they quickly realize that nobody is coming. But with the right strategy, you can drive the traffic you’re looking for and experience steady growth.

In this webinar you’ll learn:

  • The mindset and habit shift you need to make if you want to reach more people
  • Tips on how to get the best out of your most valuable promotional tool
  • How to develop a plan for incremental growth and create stepping stones to success

After viewing this webinar, you’ll have a better understanding of some of the core strategies you need to discover and maintain strong growth in readership.

7 Proven Marketing Trends That Will Surge Business in 2019

7 Proven Marketing Trends That Will Surge Business in 2019

7 Proven Marketing Trends That Will Surge Business in 2019

Category: Business Strategy
Skill Level: All Levels
Date Recorded: December 19, 2018

Marketing your business well is likely one of the most important strategies you’ll take on over the next year. It’s the one thing that keeps the phone ringing, emails coming in, and customers walking through your doors. If you don’t have a strong marketing strategy, then you won’t have much of a business.

The problem is that there are dozens (if not hundreds) of voices telling you how you should spend your money because their plan or method will overflow your cup with new customers. So how do you know what the right approach is for your business?

In this webinar, we’ll cut through the clutter and the marketing voices only interested in marketing themselves. And we’ll help you identify some of the trends that are actually driving real growth. You’ll learn:

  • How you can set yourself apart better from the competition
  • Which digital marketing tools are going to be most worth your time
  • Techniques that will help you achieve the best ROI
  • How you can develop a marketing plan that fits your style and results in substantial customer growth

Upon completion of this webinar, you’ll have everything you need to make sure the next year gets rolling in the right direction. These marketing trends are not fads that just come and go. They’ve already shown great results for many small businesses (including us), and work well with where the ever-changing digital landscape is headed over the next year. If you want to grow your business, then this is the first step you should take.

Dan King

Dan King

Founder/President

Prior to starting Fistbump Media in 2012, Dan has been a long-time blogger, website developer, and social media expert. He is a speaker and both a self-published and traditionally published author.

He has helped numerous other writers, non-profits, and small businesses expand their reach by using online tools to amplify their voice.

When he's not working, he and his wife are usually spending time with their five kids (two biological and three adopted). 

5 Simple Tips That Will Skyrocket Your Blog Results in 2019

5 Simple Tips That Will Skyrocket Your Blog Results in 2019

5 Simple Tips That Will Skyrocket Your Blog Results in 2019

Category: Writer Strategy
Skill Level: All Levels

Don’t go into the next year doing the same things you’ve been doing that aren’t getting you the traffic you want. You work hard, pouring yourself into your writing. And there are people out there who need your voice in their lives.

And let’s face it, blogging is way more fun when you know it’s reaching people!

In this webinar, we’ll discuss five simple tips that can help you reset your efforts and discover new readers for your writing. We’ll talk about:

  • How to focus your writing so readers know what to expect from you
  • Evaluating your email subscriber strategy to get you the most out of your list
  • Developing a social media promotional plan to expand your reach
  • How to identify and understand key metrics that will shape your strategy going forward
  • Reaching new readers by looking outside your blog

By the end of this webinar, you’ll have a plan for your blog that’ll set you up for great success over the next year. Apply the tips, find new readers, and reach your writing goals!

Dan King

Dan King

Founder/President

Prior to starting Fistbump Media in 2012, Dan has been a long-time blogger, website developer, and social media expert. He is a speaker and both a self-published and traditionally published author.

He has helped numerous other writers, non-profits, and small businesses expand their reach by using online tools to amplify their voice.

When he's not working, he and his wife are usually spending time with their five kids (two biological and three adopted). 

How to Manage Your Affiliate Account for Big Profit

How to Manage Your Affiliate Account for Big Profit

How to Manage Your Affiliate Account for Big Profit

Category: Client Services
Skill Level: All Levels

Is your blog making you money? If not, then you’re probably hoping that it will at some point. And there are several ways to get your blogging efforts to produce some profits for you. One of the easiest and most common ways is with affiliate marketing. Simply, it’s the idea that you refer your readers to products and then get paid for that referral.

With Fistbump Media’s affiliate programs, you can earn substantial payouts for people you send our way. But being successful with it requires a little bit of strategy.

In this webinar, we’ll discuss:

  • How to enable your affiliate account and access the account management tools
  • How to get the right kinds of links to use when referring people to us
  • What kinds of promotions and activities you can do to get referrals flowing
  • When and how to get paid for your referrals
  • Bonus tips on how to boost your sales and earn more profits

The goal of this webinar is to help you learn how to use your affiliate account and tools to maximize your profit online. Affiliate sales is a great way to boost your blogging income, and you can win big with the right strategy.

Dan King

Dan King

Founder/President

Prior to starting Fistbump Media in 2012, Dan has been a long-time blogger, website developer, and social media expert. He is a speaker and both a self-published and traditionally published author.

He has helped numerous other writers, non-profits, and small businesses expand their reach by using online tools to amplify their voice.

When he's not working, he and his wife are usually spending time with their five kids (two biological and three adopted).