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March 30, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Lessons on social entrepreneurship, micro-lending, and live from Jessica Lackley co-founder of Kiva Microfinance

What can we learn from the story of Jessica Lackley of Kiva micro-finance? This is her TED talk:

Here are a couple lessons I’ve learned from Jessica Lackley:
1. The power of stories–in fact Jessica’s “obsession” with stories. And lending creating bigger relationships (90% stay on as donors).
2. The power of listening (as well as interviewing and observation)
3. The power of starting small
4. Transforming the overall narrative of giving. (Poverty vs. Possibility) (Dependence vs. Dignity & hope & work)
5. The power of transformation–Kiva used standard of living inventories to track progress & help tell the story of transformation.
6. The value of Semester at Sea and short-term missions trips (two things she did.
7. Leveraging a vibrant university community like the Stanford GSB to learn more about business and communications for 3 years.
8. Communication for social entrepreneurs & micro-finance (guilt and transaction versus relationship in development, charity, & non-profits). Also, community–
9. The value of a model and inspiration–in the form of Mohammed Yunus of the Gramean Bank.–this one one of her “obsessions” in addition to stories.
10. You can learn a lot about life and business from seamstresses and goat-hearders.
11. Philosophy & Poetry majors can change the world–if also given a business/management education
12. Distinguishing between meaning & data (despite $150 million in loans). Validation. (“Donor/beneficiary weirdness”–“blur those lines”–more just, open, and creative interactions)

I like her idea of being “tuned in” to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship.

Here is Jessica’s speech at Jubilee. [I apologize–I don’t know how much overlap there is between this and her TED talk]. Also here is her interview with the Stanford Social Innovation Conversations Network (a podcast on social innovation).

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