Meet the Kiva Zip Kenya Team: Akash Trivedi
Dreamer, Kendrick Lamar enthusiast and Kiva Zip Kenya Program Manager, Akash Trivedi has been with the Kiva team for 4 years. He's interested in creating scalable and sustainable impact.
Background before Kiva Zip?
Graduated from Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 with a dual degree in Finance and Management. I pursued a couple of start ups after I graduated, first as a co-founder and then as the business controller before moving out to the Bay. Spent a year and a half as a financial analyst at a tech company out in the East Bay called MobiTV. Started @ Kiva in 2010 as an intern and became the company's Chief of Staff in 2011 where I worked directly under the CEO and President, Matt Flannery. We launched Zip in Kenya in November 2011.
What were you hoping to achieve at Zip?
For me, Zip is not just an evolutionary change to microfinance, it's discontinuous. If we do this well, we have the opportunity to expand access/create options, significantly lower the cost of capital (even if it's not ultimately 0%), and create meaningful linkages (e.g. connecting a farmer in Bungoma to another farmer in his community to agriculture consultants in Nairobi to a lender in Houston and so on.)
My goal is to create a truly global community bank.
3. What are you passionate about?
At my core, I'm passionate about two things: learning about people and their life stories, and helping people reach their potential. I think that's what's so inspiring about the premise of Zip. It's about sharing experiences/capital in an effort to help entrepreneurs reach their potential.
4. Advice for entrepreneurs?
There are no shortcuts when trying to start your own business. The journey is long; the journey is difficult. However there ARE things you can do to help yourself. Firstly, connecting to a mentor who believes in you and is willing to provide regular support. Secondly, taking small bets. Starting a business can be very capital intensive and many entrepreneurs convince themselves they need all of the money up front; but if you're smart you can often figure out if an idea is going to work or not at very little cost to you.