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Reflections: Changing the world

Sept 12 2021 • 2 min read • Change

Changing the world can seem an insurmountable task until you encounter those that are indeed doing it. The most impactful contributions to society depend on ingenuity, courage and an inherent dissatisfaction with the status quo. I am deeply inspired by purpose driven organisations and people that seek to solve some of humanity’s most pressing problems.

Take for instance Kiva, who demonstrated that economic value can be unlocked by applying an inclusive approach to targeting a systemic financial access problem for refugees. We all know very well, the privilege that comes with having access to financial resources. In imagining a better way, Kiva’s ‘unthinkable’ approach 15 years ago, to successfully provide credit to refugees across the globe, proved counter intuitive. However, they provided a reason to believe that mass scale problems can be solved through technology, empathy and courage. The Kiva team has been able to democratise access to financial services by deeply understanding both the human condition and needs of the refugees to overcome geographical and financial exclusion, by applying innovation and technology.

Their results are exceptional. Kiva has financed loans worth $1.48bn, whilst achieving an envious repayment rate of 97% that many financial institutions marvel at. What is of great interest is that 81% of their customers are women — (2.7 million women!!). Julie Hanna, the Executive Chair of Kiva, speaks candidly about her experiences as a war survivor, refugee, and immigrant and how this lived experience has shaped her life’s work.

In drawing some important parallels on the journey to driving equality, our perspective at Yugrow is that the existence of platforms like Kiva remind us that, tipping the inequality scale is possible and that it provides value for everyone and that insurmountable challenges do indeed have solutions, when approached with the right intent. Creating the world we envision, where some of the problems that deeply matter to us don’t exist, relies on each and every one of us.

How are you (Yu) changing the world?

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