Connecting communities through social entrepreneurship

AIESEC Alumni logo

As AIESEC Alumni, we often search for ways to connect with our communities and continue the work we started as members.  We will try to showcase the options you have as Alumni to be involved within your local and global communities.

Kiva is one such example. Kiva is an international non-profit organization, which was established in 2005 and is based in San Francisco (USA). Its mission is to alleviate poverty by creating a platform where people can connect through lending. The organization allows people to lend money to individuals or projects of their choice, for sums as small as $25. We got in touch with AIESEC Alumni, Lars Herrig to find out more about this organization.

AAE: Tell us a bit about yourself.

LG: I was an active member of the AIESEC local committee Bochum and with an active role for AIESEC MC Germany during 1985-1988. My last position at the LC-level was LCP and at MC Germany as “Beirat”, which was something similar to an advisory board.

AAE: What is Kiva and how did you get involved with it?

LG: Kiva is an American NGO, which offers the option to lend money from private persons as a micro credit to entrepreneurs in more than 80 countries of the world, using local partner organizations. You can lend money in sectors like agriculture, food, retail, service, education and much more. I was invited by other AIESEC Alumni team captains like Adeep and Wolfgang. I want to improve the impact of AIESEC in Kiva, and because of this I was appointed to be the fourth team captain of AIESEC @ Kiva.

AAE: How long have you been involved with Kiva?

LG: I have been a member of the team for a year now. Other members in our teams have been active in Kiva for 8 or 10 years already.

AAE: Who is on the AIESEC Alumni Kiva team?

LG: There are 183 AIESEC members or AIESEC Alumni active in the team. You can see all members using this link: https://www.kiva.org/team/aiesec/members

AAE: What projects have you been involved with so far?

LG: https://www.kiva.org/team/aiesec/impact I made 21 loans in 19 countries spread all over the world in education, construction, agriculture etc.

AAE: Which projects have stood out for you personally so far? Are there any specific projects you would like to showcase for our readers?

LG: I decided to invest in short term loans to be able to lend the repaid money as soon as possible to another project. I’m looking for sustainable projects in areas with difficult financial infrastructure.

AAE: Do you choose the microfinance projects as a team within Kiva or is it an individual choice of who to sponsor through the microloans?

LG: It is mostly an individual decision for which projects I’m supporting. Some members do not have enough time to search for interesting loans by themselves and they are interested in getting some recommendations. Sometimes there are special Kiva promotions. By following these promotions you’ll get some matching investments from other funds. This means that if I’m lending 25 USD to a project in agriculture, the fund will fund another 25 USD.

AAE: What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining the Kiva community? Why should they do it?

LG: We should support entrepreneurs all over the world, who want to be responsible for their own life and for their families by taking a loan, using it for an investment and paying the money of the loan back. In my opinion it is good to support people to do their own business in their home countries.

 

You can find out more about the organization here: https://www.kiva.org/about. The Kiva AIESEC Alumni team of 187 members is currently supporting a total of 844 projects. Since its start the team has manged to fund 7894 loans and is actively involved in the organization. Below you can see a break down of the project sectors currently being funded, as well as the regions of the projects in question.

Please join the AIESEC team on Kiva: https://www.kiva.org/team/aiesec

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If you know of projects or initiatives which AIESEC Alumni could get involved with, please let us know. Let’s take one step further together to achieve the AIESEC vision. #SustainableDevelopmentGoals

AAE Summer 2016 part II

 AAIC 2016 in Warsaw, Poland

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The second big conference of the summer was the AIESEC Alumni International Congress (AAIC) which took place between August 20th – 23rd in Warsaw, Poland. It brought together over 250 alumni from around the world. The main topic of the event was Entrepreneurship & Innovation. At the same time the 68th AIESEC’s International Congress and the 3rd IC in Poland was held.

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The Agenda included a traditional Polish Evening on Saturday night, the new AAI board elections on Sunday and the Gala Awards aimed at honoring the most meaningful achievements of AIESEC members during the previous year, on Monday evening. Our team was happy to take part in electing and welcoming in a new full AAI board.

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The Gala Awards consisted of three categories: Alumni to Alumni, Alumni to AIESEC and Alumni to the World. The Alumni to Alumni category was awarded to Lionel Simons and the Alumni to AIESEC category was awarded to Lofti El-Ghandouri. The Alumni to the World category was structured around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and was awarded to all four nominated alumni for their achievements: Stefan Palari, Michael Teoh Su Lim, Edna Aguinaga and Gunter Pauli. Congratulations to all awardees and the remaining nominees who became members of the Alumni Hall of Fame!

 

AAE Summer 2016 part I

It has been a busy summer for our team. Over the next few posts we will give a short overview of the different conferences we took part in.

European Regional Alumni Congress 2016

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This year’s European Regional Alumni Congress (ERAC) took place between July 7th – 10th in Germany, in Castle Stahleck, near the Rhine River. Organized by AIESEC Alumni Germany (AAG), its Board members and OCP Carsten Tonn, the conference was set up together with the AAG flagship event: The Rhine Cruise. This event has enjoyed a large popularity since 2005, with AIESEC Alumni from all generations with their families joining together to meet in one of the most beautiful parts of Germany and discuss topics, interact and just enjoy the great atmosphere.

This year was no different. Along with workshops on topics ranging from NAA development to the Alumni Theme Programme, conference participants had the opportunity to meet and share ideas with AIESEC Alumni from all over Europe. Overall more than 180 participants took part in the event.

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The Rhine River and the entrance to Castle Stahleck

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First day of workshops

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The Rhine Cruise

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AIESEC through the generations

New collaboration agreements within AAE

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Our team is excited to announce that two new collaboration agreements were signed during AAIC 2016, in Poland during this past August. Christiane Stein, representing AIESEC Alumni Europe, signed collaboration agreements with AIESEC Alumni Poland, represented by Renata Maroszek, Adriana Bernecka Vel Dzika and Andrzej Voigt, and with AIESEC Alumni Italy, represented by Salvatore Lombardo (Toto).

As part of our collaboration agreements we plan to work on further promoting the AIESEC Alumni activities, sharing best practices and organizing conferences and events targeted for our alumni community.

We look forward to a fruitful collaboration!

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Adriana, Renata & Christiane

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Toto & Christiane

Alumni Theme Program launch

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Engage AIESEC Alumni in Fulfilling Humankind’s Potential

AIESEC Alumni Europe (AAE) launched the Alumni Theme Program (ATP) in 2016 as a regional program to increase AIESEC Alumni’s positive impact on the world. AIESEC Alumni share AIESEC’s values of empowering People for Peace and Fulfillment of Humankind’s Potential.

Central to the Alumni Theme Program is a theme to be declared for a time frame of two years. During this period ATP projects should relate to this theme. All projects are to be documented and results recorded. These documents are centrally collected and compiled by AAE. After two years this compilation is to be published and a new theme will be defined.

Defining a theme will involve many stakeholders with AIESEC Alumni and will take about six months. The new theme will be decided on and introduced at an AAE conference. National Alumni Associations will be asked to embrace the new theme and support local ATP projects.

Publishing the theme’s result will be done in the form which fits best the theme, results and targeted audience.

AAE’s ATP is modeled on the Global Theme Program (GTP) which was run by AIESEC in the 1990’s. AAE has asked and was granted AI’s permission to run an updated Alumni version.

AIESEC Alumni Europe is AIESEC Alumni’s European regional organisation. It supports National AIESEC Alumni Associations in Europe by fostering collaboration, organizing conferences and running regional programs.

Two new European entities are collaborating with AIESEC Alumni Europe

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This year’s European Regional Alumni Conference (ERAC) took place on July 7th-10th in Bacharach, Germany. Here AIESEC Alumni in Europe, represented by Peter Mandl signed two new collaboration agreements with AIESEC Alumni Belgium, represented by Jan Peeters, and AIESEC Alumni Portugal, represented by Anabela Matos. By doing so, we have agreed to work together to develop and strengthen the AIESEC Alumni community in both Belgium and Portugal, and within Europe.

Specifics of the collaboration will include working on the promotion of AIESEC Alumni activities, the facilitation and experience sharing of best practices, the organization of Regional Alumni Conferences and events and any other activities which will promote the alumni network.

We look forward to a fruitful collaboration!

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IMG_3308       Jan & Peter

A new addition to the AAE board team

We want to congratulate Florence Jumeaux on being elected for the position of NAA Growth Manager for the term ’16/’18. Florence is a headhunter for executive positions in a wide range of industries. She joined AIESEC HEC (Montreal, Canada) in 2008 and also worked for AIESEC in Gothenburg (Sweden). She went on two AIESEC internships in India where she lived for 3 years. She has been an active member of AIESEC Alumni France since 2015 and is a member of the board. Welcome to the AAE board team Florence!

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AIESEC Fund cooperating with AIESEC Alumni Europe

AIESEC Alumni Europe was represented by Christiane Stein and Peter Mandl at the General Assembly of AIESEC Alumni France in Paris. Before the event, both met with the founders of the AIESEC Fund: Jean Choplin, Victor Loewenstein and Arnould de la Boulaye.

After an interesting discussion on how to promote the Fund in Europe, Peter signed a cooperation agreement on behalf of AIESEC Alumni Europe.

Further details and information on the AIESEC Fund will be announced in the upcoming months.

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European Regional Alumni Conference

AIESEC Alumni Europe will hold its second conference from 7th-10th July 2016 in Bacharach, Germany (at the river Rhine between Mainz & Koblenz).

A varied program will be offered from Thursday to Sunday with European Regional Alumni Conference, wine tasting, RhineCruise, key note, workshops, parties etc.. The modules are also available separately.

You can register on http://www.aiesec-alumni.de/index.php/rhinecruise2016

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The full program:

Thursday, 07 July 2016 Continue reading