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Julia Kurnia
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Julia is the founder of Zidisha, the first online community to enable direct person-to-person lending to entrepreneurs in developing countries without going through local intermediary banks. She is passionate about using the internet to overcome geographic barriers in the most marginalized places on earth.

Entries by Julia Kurnia

Kiva vs. Zidisha: Three Common Myths

(4) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 9:10 AM

Some time ago the President of Kiva, Premal Shah, posted a thoughtful response to my article Zidisha vs. Kiva Zip. (His comment was originally posted here and is reproduced in full below.)

Zidisha is a nonprofit website that I founded as an...

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How to Overcome the Geographic Handicap

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 10:10 PM

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I've spent the past few weeks in Indonesia, one of the countries at the forefront of the developing world's internet revolution. I often work out of a nearby convenience store that has a wifi connection.

Behind the store is a maze of sheet-metal...

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Why I Founded Zidisha

(2) Comments | Posted March 2, 2014 | 11:06 AM

It was Thanksgiving Day, 2008 and I was in Niger, a vast famine-stricken wasteland in the middle of the African continent.

An idealistic twenty-four-year-old, I'd been hired out of graduate school to manage overseas grants on behalf of the US government. This was my second year on the job and...

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Zidisha vs. Kiva Zip

(2) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 11:03 AM

Note: this article is authored by the founder of Zidisha. The information about Kiva Zip is taken from public sources, and does not necessarily express the views of Kiva or Kiva Zip.

Zidisha and Kiva Zip are both experimental web platforms that aim to use person-to-person...

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About to Send a Donation? Think Twice

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2014 | 10:39 AM

Beware: the handout approach to development assistance is back in fashion.

The rationale behind the handout approach seems straightforward enough: the most efficient way to help people living in poverty must be to give them money. That is why the earliest large-scale international development assistance efforts, in the 1950s...

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The Office is Obsolete

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 11:44 AM

37signals just produced an excellent video about the benefits of working remotely.

As the world's first international online peer-to-peer microlending community, Zidisha has never had a dedicated office space. Like 37signals, we have a globally dispersed team who use online tools to collaborate. Why go office-less?

1. It...

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The stuff heroes are made of

(0) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 11:58 AM

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Here is a story that deserves to be shared.

Sammy Kanja is a founding member of Zidisha's online microlending community in Kenya. He used his earliest microloans to purchase a donkey cart and donkeys for his goods transport business. The proceeds from...

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Not Your Mother's Microfinance

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 6:20 PM

Forward-thinking small business owners across the developing world are turning to the online space as an alternative source of small business loans.

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Duncan Chege is someone who sees possibilities before they become reality. In 2009, convinced that information technology is the key to...

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"The Last Mile" from Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories

(0) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 10:58 AM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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"It Takes a Very Special Heart" from Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2013 | 11:41 AM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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"Continuing Education" from Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 10:41 AM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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"Ripple Effects" from Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 5:00 PM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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"The Right Tool Makes All the Difference" from Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 4:26 PM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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"What It Takes to Survive," From 'Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories'

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2013 | 12:06 PM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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"An Enterprising Student," From 'Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories'

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2013 | 4:54 PM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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"God Has Extended My Territories," From 'Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories'

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 12:44 PM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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"A Bountiful Harvest," From 'Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories'

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2013 | 5:14 PM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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"Survival Strategies," From 'Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories'

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 11:17 AM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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"The Mattress Doctor," From 'Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories'

(0) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 12:11 PM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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"Overcoming Handicaps," From 'Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories'

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 11:15 AM

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries, the range of factors that affect their prospects for working their way out...

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