The Week Before Kiva Milwaukee Launch!

We’ve been counting down to the launch of Kiva City Milwaukee on Tuesday, February 17! Not only are entrepreneurs being given a chance to raise support for 0% interest loans, but they are becoming a part of the Kiva Zip community.

Yet, all of this takes quite a bit of work. Lauren Stinson arrived as the newest Milwaukee fellow last week, and her first few days in the city have been quite eventful. Here’s a look at her schedule as she prepared for the launch:

Thursday, Feb. 5:

Arrive in Milwaukee. Excited to hit the ground running!

Speaking of running, I began my fellowship by rushing to Madison, WI (1.5 hours away) to submit a grant proposal. I view the adventure as a way of getting to explore more of the Badger State and visiting my alma mater, University of Wisconsin-Madison. On Wisconsin!


I am not sure how I got this privilege on my second day on the job, but I was featured in a promotional video for the Wisconsin Saves campaign,, made by a Kiva Zip trustee and key supporter, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)! I’m saving up for graduate school as I spend the next few months empowering small businesses in Milwaukee.


A busy day for loan posting! Today alone I've communicated personally with nine borrowers in the application process and trustee review, and five will be posted by the end of the day.


More preparation for the launch event next week! We’re inviting borrowers in private and public fundraising to the day’s events, printing posters and calling trustees in the application process. Good news: five more loans posted to private fundraising, including Rochelle of Rochelle’s Fashion Boutique & Terry of Milwaukee Fashion Incubator.


Kiva Milwaukee could not be complete with our local stakeholders. I lunched with some of our major partners who are helping business owners see their dreams come into reality earlier today.

Monday, D-1 before launch:

My first week was nothing short of hectic, but in the best way possible. There’s always a learning curve when beginning a new position but just in these few short days I’ve connected with so many intelligent, passionate and spirited entrepreneurs. I am overwhelmed by how engaged and grateful they are for the Kiva Zip program. I am thrilled to be able to participate in the Milwaukee Kiva City launch and can’t wait to see what adventures and relationships the coming months will bring.


Posted by Lauren Stinson, Kiva City Milwaukee Fellow

Feb 17, 2015

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Lauren recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Business Management, Entrepreneurship and Environmental Studies.

As a UW-Madison student, Lauren served as the executive director for Slow Food UW, a student organization and nonprofit with a mission to bring equitable, local and clean food to the Madison campus and community. Lauren is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys sharing her yoga and meditation practices as a vinyasa teacher.


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