Next up in the BHP’s series highlighting women eradicating hunger is social justice and global equality advocate Jessica Jackley

Jackley is most well known for founding Kiva, an international nonprofit with a mission to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive. Kiva does this by crowdfunding loans to help unlock capital for underserved communities. Users can give loans of as little as $25 to entrepreneurs anywhere in the world. For instance, Kiva users can currently donate to Jessie, a bakery owner in Richmond, Virginia who is struggling to keep her business open during the pandemic, or they can give Gemma in the Philippines to help her buy more fishing supplies. Since its founding in 2005, Kiva has facilitated over $1.56 billion in loans. 

Jackley was inspired to begin Kiva after a trip to Kenya in 2004. While she was there, Jackley formed powerful connections with entrepreneurs who had started small businesses with just a few hundred dollars, working themselves and their families out of poverty. Jackley says that Kiva was “born out of a desire to share those new stories of potential, strength and empowerment and to create a way for our friends and family to experience these new stories of entrepreneurship.”

Currently, Jackley is the founder of Alltruists, which offers at-home kid friendly volunteer projects and is co-founder and general manager of Untapped Capital, an early stage venture capital firm. Jackley hold a wide range of accolades and honors including,  The Economist’s No Boundaries Innovation Award, Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Tech, Silicon Valley Forum’s Visionary Award, and the Pasteur Institute’s Common Congress Award. She shares her tips for building a strong business and pursuing global social justice in her memoir Clay Brick Water. Jackley also holds a BA  in Philosophy and Political Science from Bucknell University and an MBA in from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


Jessica Kaplan, Bucknell University Intern, Class of 2021