President Obama Names Kiva Executive Chair Julie Hanna as Entrepreneurial Ambassador

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This means more micro-loans for female entrepreneurs in developing countries — to the tune of $100 million.

By Betsy Mikel (Editor, Women 2.0)

Julie Hanna Kiva“Technology is the most democratizing force that humankind has ever known,” said Kiva's Executive Chair of the Board Julie Hanna when she spoke at the 2014 Women 2.0 conference. “Add in entrepreneurialism and the impossible becomes possible.”

Hanna has long believed that information technology is democratizing force for social, political and business disruption. As the executive chair of Kiva, she leads the board of the nonprofit that delivers crowdfunded microloans to low-income and underserved entrepreneurs in 86 countries.

The board member, angel investor and entrepreneurship mentor just got offered the opportunity to help develop even more entrepreneurs in a huge way. Today President Obama named Julie Hanna a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.

The White House also announced Kiva’s Global Capital Access initiative, spearheaded by Hanna. Their goal is to raise $100 million in loans by backing 200,000 women and young entrepreneurs across 86 countries.

"The leadership of our PAGE Ambassadors, like Julie Hanna, is instrumental to supporting entrepreneurs across the globe," said Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce on a press release. “Kiva provides essential access to capital for innovators worldwide, including to those who could not access financing elsewhere. Julie's initiative is a pertinent example of a collaborative model that combines innovation, global economic development, and social good."

The Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) program was created in 2014 to cultivate a more collaborative relationship between American entrepreneurs, the White House, the Department of Commerce and the Department of State. Other ambassadors include LearnVest CEO Alexa von Tobel, Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and Coursera co-founder and president Daphne Koller.

"Talent is universal, but opportunity is not,” said Hanna. "This is about unlocking human potential and backing the dreams of entrepreneurs at an unprecedented global scale."


About the author: Betsy Mikel is the managing editor of Women 2.0 and runs the content consultancy Aveck. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and a lifelong obsession with French language and culture. When she's not biking all over every city she visits to find its best taqueria, you can find Betsy on Twitter at @betsym.