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Making change using entrepreneurship

Jessica Jackley is an author and entrepreneur who started Kiva, the world's first and largest peer-to-peer micro-lending website.

BOISE, Idaho — Are you one of those people who looks for ways to make the world a better place? Maybe through random acts of kindness, volunteering for nonprofits or making a donation to your favorite cause or causes? 

Jessica Jackley found and created a way to make positive change through entrepreneurship around the world.

While doing work for a nonprofit in East Africa, she was inspired by people making change in their own lives through entrepreneurship. She wrote a book about her encounters with those she met, including a brickmaker, a goat herder and a small shopkeeper. The book's title is "Clay Water Brick: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least."

Jackley is the co-founder of Kiva, the world's first and largest peer-to-peer micro-lending website. Jackley says Kiva lets users lend as little as $25 to aspiring entrepreneurs around the globe, providing affordable capital for them to start or expand micro-enterprises. Since its founding, Kiva has raised more than $1.6 billion for entrepreneurs in more than 200 countries.

She is also the founder of Alltruists, which offers at-home, kid-friendly volunteer projects for families.

Jackley will be the dinner keynote speaker at the Idaho Women's Charitable Foundation Symposium coming up on Tuesday, Oct.18, at the Boise Centre. This year's theme is Entrepreneurial Philanthropy: Celebrating Change-Making Women. Her basic message?

"It's really that we can all operate in an entrepreneurial way," Jackley said. "We can live and work and do relationships entrepreneurially, meaning the basics, right? We can look for solutions instead of seeing problems as impenetrable things. We can overcome barriers. We can get over, around and through even when we don't necessarily feel like we have everything we need to get there. We can be mindful about how the things we build might be able to be sustainable and have lives of their own."

Tickets to the symposium are $100 through the IWCF website. IWCF says the all-day symposium provides education about community needs and opportunities for philanthropy to positively impact the lives of people in Southwest Idaho. Over the years the Idaho Women's Charitable Foundation has granted more than $5 million to organizations across Southwest Idaho.

On this episode of Viewpoint Jackley also talks about what inspired her to do her part to take on global poverty, goes more in-depth into how she's doing that, and shares some of the experiences that shaped her worldview and philosophy on entrepreneurship. Viewpoint airs Sunday mornings at 9 o'clock on KTVB Idaho's NewsChannel 7.

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