Photo by Sun StarToday is the 100-year anniversary of the founding of International Women’s Day—a day to celebrate the achievements of women worldwide and to rekindle efforts toward their advancement.

Celebrating the centennial, performer Annie Lennox will lead a charity march across London’s Millennium Bridge, joining in spirit with 25 countries that have officially recognized the holiday, including the U.S. Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zambia.

Many women in places like Rwanda, Colombia and Cambodia face two choices: Accept a life in historical poverty, or strive for a brighter future. With hopes of building a business, three women stand out as examples of how to choose the latter.

The fledgling entrepreneurs reached out to Kiva lenders and received microloans from people half a world away. Their stories inspire others facing poverty and stand as a testament to the power of microfinance as a way to empower women, and along with them, whole villages.

(READ their stories at

Photo by Sun Star


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