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The "Adventure Lab" is an idea incubator and collaborative resource hub for women over 40 who are hungry to create epic adventures, even on a shoestring budget. With a focus on asset-building and mentoring, we deal with the whole person in a way that is inclusive, regardless of financial means, and that creates opportunities for women at risk both in our local communities, and in developing nations.

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Field Report: Sandra rebuilt her Haiti workshop & hired 5 people!

November 20, 2016 in , by Sue Braiden

Kiva Diva Field Report: Sandra in Haiti - November 20, 2016

It’s always exciting when we receive a field report on one of the women that we have invested in through the “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” project. This one is especially cool because it comes from the entrepreneur herself!

Back in October 2014 we helped an artist named Sandra rebuild her workshop in Haiti after her entire shop was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. It’s a relief that this report comes in on the heels of yet another natural disaster in Haiti, the recent hurricane, and that it finds Sandra safe and well.

Yet more great news? She not only used the Kiva loan we helped provide to rebuild her shop, but actually created jobs for 5 more people! Watch and share her inspiring story.

Sandra has been making and selling different kinds of scarves and sarongs since 1980. Here’s a bit more about our original investment in this wonderful artist back in 2014.

Helping Jennifer Grow Gardens in Honour of My Mum’s 76th Birthday through our 27th Kiva Loan

June 18, 2016 in by Sue Braiden

Our Twenty-Seventh Kiva Entrepreneur - Jennifer in California - June 2016

Today would have been my mother’s 76th birthday. She was the original “Adventure Diva” and the inspiration behind the “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” project. She loved to garden. When we celebrated her life on the day of her funeral, we gave the friends and family who joined us baskets of “Forget-Me-Not” seeds to plant in her honour. My mum was also an entrepreneur who ran her own business, and she loved to give back to her community. That’s why I knew that Jennifer was the right Kiva entrepreneur to invest in today with our twenty-seventh “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” Kiva sponsorship.

God’s in the Clothing Business. No, really … (and he’s our 26th Kiva entrepreneur)

May 8, 2016 in by Sue Braiden

Our Twenty-Sixth Kiva Entrepreneur - God in Uganda - May 2016

God is involved in the business of selling first-hand clothes. No, really. And the Estrogen Army invested in him today. A young man in Hoima, Uganda raises his younger siblings with the help of his older brother. His name happens to be “God”, and he started a clothing business with the help of a small loan from his brother so that he can take care of the family.

God is our May “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” Kiva entrepreneur. While we usually fund female entrepreneurs over 40 who are working to lift themselves out of poverty in developing countries where it is very difficult to access traditional forms of funding, this departure seemed so right today. What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to help a young man who is having to be both mum and dad to his siblings?

God’s dream is to use the profits from his business to build a permanent house for his family, and we want to help him with that! He struggles with high transport costs to different markets, and trying to raise sufficient capital to buy the stock he needs. He is grateful for the help his brother gave him with a bit of money to get things started, and says he doesn’t want to disappoint him, and works extra hard to do well.

Through Kiva we were able to invest in God as part of a loan through HOFOKAM, a program targeting poor and geographically excluded populations in Western Uganda. In addition to loans, it provides social and business training programs to low-income entrepreneurs and their communities. Since 2003, HOFOKAM has provided sustainable financial and non-financial services to promote social, economic and sustainable land development and improve the quality of life for vulnerable populations.

God still needs help help closing the gap. Click through to learn more ….

Our Twenty-fifth Kiva Diva: Sarjita in Pakistan (April 2016)

April 30, 2016 in by Sue Braiden

Our Twenty-Fifth Kiva Entrepreneur - Sarjita in Pakistan - April 2016

Sajida is our April “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” Kiva entrepreneur. This is a particularly special investment. We tend to fund female entrepreneurs who are working to lift themselves out of poverty in developing countries where it is very difficult to access traditional forms of funding. This time we had an opportunity to help a woman who has been helping ensure that many others will have that same opportunity. Sajida runs a school to try to change the fate of children from low-income families living in Pakistan’s urban slums. More than 41% of her 261 students are females, an unprecedented number in an area where being a woman can mean education is denied. We’re helping Sajida expand and equip her school to make it a more inclusive and comfortable environment. She hopes to create a nurturing atmosphere to encourage even more students to attend.

Our Twenty-fourth Kiva Diva: Rita in Bolivia (March 2016)

March 28, 2016 in by Sue Braiden

Our Twenty-Fourth Kiva Entrepreneur - Rita in Bolivia - March 2016

Rita is our March “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” Kiva entrepreneur. This 51-year-old mother of 2 lives in Tarija, Bolivia, and has been making costume jewelry for a year now. She dreams of opening her own shop, and we’re helping her make it happen!

Our Twenty-third Kiva Diva: Natividad in Bolivia (February 2016)

February 29, 2016 in by Sue Braiden

Our Twenty-Third Kiva Entrepreneur - Navtividad in Bolivia - February 2016

Natividad is our February “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” Kiva entrepreneur. This 63-year-old widow and mother of 4 children lives in La Paz, Bolivia, and is rebooting her life after cataract surgery. She lives near a school and wants to open an internet centre at her house to make it available, and we’re helping her make it happen! Natividad still needs help help closing the gap …

Our Twenty-second Kiva Diva: Edith Beatriz in Bolivia (January 2016)

January 18, 2016 in by Sue Braiden

Edith Beatriz is our January “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” Kiva entrepreneur. This 60-year-old retired teacher from Tarija, Bolivia has a dream, and we’re helping her make it happen! Ever since she was very young she has wanted to have her own macrame weaving shop. She has the training, but the equipment is very expensive. We want to help put it within reach. Edith still needs help help closing the gap …

Our Twenty-first Kiva Diva: Karen in Bolivia (November 2015)

November 19, 2015 in by Sue Braiden

Our Twenty-First Kiva Entrepreneur - Karen in Bolivia - November 2015

Karen is our November “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” Kiva entrepreneur. We’re helping her with her internet & game café in Bolivia, because gaming is an empowering springboard for big girls too! (More on the truth of this on the Estrogen Army blog soon…)

Our Twentieth Kiva Diva: Siliviah in Kenya (October 2015)

October 23, 2015 in by Sue Braiden

Our Twentieth Kiva Entrepreneur - Siliviah in Kitale, Kenya - October 201

This month we celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada so we’re sponsoring a second Kiva entrepreneur. Our “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” team is helping Siliviah put food on her own family’s table by expanding her dairy operation in Kitale, Kenya. Read on to learn how you can help …

Our Nineteenth Kiva Diva: Yolanda in Ecuador (October 2015)

in by Sue Braiden

Our Nineteenth Kiva Entrepreneur - Yolanda Del Carmen in Santo Domingo, Ecuador - October 2015

Yolanda is our October “Adventures with the Estrogen Army” Kiva entrepreneur. She’s 53 years old, and we’re helping her make a dream come true. She wants to open her own restaurant, and she still needs a little help.

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