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Hospitality Design Magazine > Hospitality Design People > Changing Lives

Changing Lives

CEO Matt Flannery and president Premal Shah started the nonprofit with a mission of connecting people through lending (as little as $25) to alleviate poverty. Here are a few of their success stories in various regions of the world.


Philippines >> Jerilyn is a 28-year-old mother of two who has fully repaid her loan of $825 to buy a pump boat and expand the fishing business she owns with her brother. Her dream is to earn enough money to be able to send both of her children to college.

Kenya >> At 41 years old, Silole supports six members of her family by wheat farming. She used the $625 from her first loan on harrowing, wheat seeds, fertilizer, and planting. Her plan for the anticipated profits: expand to large-scale farming in the hopes of higher education for her children.

Cambodia >> Twenty-three-year-old Sophea and her twenty-eight-year-old husband Mab live on an island in the Mekong River about nine miles from Phnom Penh. Both have been silk farmers for more than five years; she learned the trade from her neighbor, he his sister. The couple sells their finished products in the village to distributors who in turn sell them in Phnom Penh. They successfully paid back their loan of $600 to reinvest in their business and expand production.

India >> Jhuni is an industrious 33-year-old widow with three young children. After her husband’s death, she started a tailoring business in her home to support her family and ensure that her children receive a good education. Two years later, her business is thriving and she has the only tailoring shop in her village. She is using Kiva funds to buy a second sewing machine to keep up with her customers’ needs and expand her business. The funds required to start her growing business? Just $500.

United States >> Yesenia and her husband are the owners of Café 22 in Los Angeles, which offers healthy food choices and even provides children a way to make and freeze juice from real fruit that they can then take to school for the week. Their Kiva-funded loan allowed them to expand the footprint of their business through delivery services, while at the same time creating a new job for someone else.

Nepal >> Rita took her first loan some five years ago to finance the digging of a well on her land at the edge of Kathmandu Valley. With regular access to water, Rita expanded her agricultural operation and began selling surplus produce. She paid back her initial loan and took another for a dairy cow; its daily milk production provides a steady income while the dung fertilizes her fields. And her husband was able to start a bus service between her village and Kathmandu.

hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



Produced by: Emerald Expositions
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