Thursday, June 7, 2012

Is Giving An Interaction or a Transaction?

Jessica Jackley is a successful business woman, and also the co-founder of, a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. “By 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.” (source:

Jessica Jackley- entrepreneur, successful business owner and change agent!

At a recent Alberta Women Entrepreneurs Conference where I was speaking I also had the opportunity to hear Jessica’s presentation. She shared the moving and powerful story of Kiva, and how small loans such as $25 can support an entrepreneur in another country to move out of poverty into business. The stories were rich with the reminder of how a little giving, empathy and understanding, can make a big difference in the world. Stories, according to Jessica, drive us to act!

Jessica talked about the importance of knowing your mission and your business identity…that is who you are and what you do. She also stressed that in business and leadership you must listen well, and to make something from whatever you have (any action is better than none at all). Lesson #3 was to co-create and include people on your journey.

When describing the process of giving, she stated that community service and giving is about an interaction (e.g. relationship) vs. transaction (providing a check). I thought this was a wonderful way to define being in service to others.

If you were to describe your lessons in community service and giving, what would they be?

To find out more about Kiva and the loans that change lives, visit: