Nele Groosman, a graduate of International Affairs from Northeastern University, started a new job position eleven months ago in Kenya as a Market Research and Impact Assessment Coordinator at the Paradigm Project. The Paradigm Project is a social enterprise whose mission is to create sustainable economic, social and environmental value within developing world communities. They achieve this by selling fuel-efficient improved wood cooking stoves, which improve health, save time and money, empower women, help slow the rate of deforestation, and create jobs.
The past two months have flown by here. I originally planned to come here to independently research Kenya’s microfinance landscape—seeking to understand how Kenyans, both in rural areas and in the slums of Nairobi, use rotating savings and credits associations (ROSCAs) and accumulating savings and credit associations (ASCAs) to manage their finances— rather than the MFIs in the country. But then while co-oping in China and thinking about my experiences at Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, I decided I wanted to learn more about approaches to income development beyond increasing access to financial resources.