Headshots

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Recent Interviews

8/20/15, KUOW - Interview with John O'Brien

8/20/15, PBS - MediaShift interview

8/11/15, Action Institute PowerBlog - Need is Universal

8/10/15, Christianity Today - Faith Meets the Entrepreneurial Spirit

7/22/15, Inc. - The Future of Microfinance

7/15/15, Watching The Hawks - Tyrel Ventura interview

7/8/15, Business Books - Clay Water Brick review

7/7/15, KQED - Forum with Michael Krasny

7/7/15, PBS - Tavis Smiley interview

7/2/15, The Georgia Straight - Discovering Dignity in Unexpected Places

7/1/15, The Street - Interview w Rhonda Schaffler

6/29/15, Christian Science Monitor - Clay Water Brick book review

6/26/15, ABC News Hour - Interview with Rebecca Jarvis

6/25/15, Huffington Post - Clay Water Brick book review

6/25/15, CSPAN - Book TV interview

6/25/15, MSNBC - Code Forward interview

6/24/15, NPR - Interview w Leonard Lopate

6/24/15, HuffPost LIVE - Interview w Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani

6/22/15, Metro NY - How To Think Like an Entrepreneur

6/18/15, Fortune - Know Your Mission

4/17/15, Publisher's Weekly - What Inspires You? Inspirational Books of 2015

4/1/15, Kirkus Review - Review of Clay Water Brick

1/7/15, Huffington Post - 15 New Books To Read in 2015

Quotes

"The heart of entrepreneurship is never about what we have. It’s about what we do."

"Always let other people decide for themselves what they need to feel empowered, no matter how surprising their choices."

"What we believe about someone else can literally limit what is possible for them, or it can set them free to achieve greatness."

"Don’t be embarrassed by your first drafts, first steps, or first anythings."

"If it feels like you’re moving just a little bit faster than is comfortable, you’re probably going at a perfect pace."

"Just about anything you can do today is better than doing nothing, and you’ll be able to do even more tomorrow if you begin with something today."

"Get comfortable traveling in unchartered territory."

"Poverty is not just about a lack of having things; it is also about the belief that we cannot or should not use what we have to grow."

"You have to swap the smaller, safer bets for a larger, less certain chance at reaching your greater goals."

"It is always worth getting closer to the people you want to understand, so you can hear their truths from them directly. Sometimes this means going to the other side of the world. Sometimes it means paying attention to someone you encounter every single day."

"We must expect great things from one another. We must insist on hope. Choose the courageous path. Choose to live entrepreneurially, and to take a bet on yourself. Choose to focus your precious time, talents, and energy on the pursuit of your greatest dreams. Chose to hope for more for yourself and for those around you. Dream—and then choose to believe in your own potential and help create the future you’re dreaming of."

Bios

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author of #claywaterbrick. cofounder of @kiva. investor at @collabfund. in love w @rezaaslan and our three small boys.

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Known for: Cofounder of Kiva, world's first, largest microlending platform. Now: Teaches entrepreneurship at USC. Working on a new start-up (stealth). Formerly: EIR at Disney, Venture Partner at Collaborative Fund, CEO of ProFounder. Also: board of Habitat for Humanity, other nonprofits. School: MBA from Stanford, BA from Bucknell, certificate from Harvard. Wrote: CLAY WATER BRICK: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least (Random House). Loves: husband Reza Aslan, their three sons.

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Jessica is an entrepreneur best known as a cofounder of Kiva, the world's first microlending website that has facilitated nearly $1B in loans since its founding. Currently, Jessica teaches entrepreneurship at USC. Earlier, Jessica served as Disney Imagineering’s first EIR, a Venture Partner at Collaborative Fund, and cofounder/CEO of ProFounder, a pioneering crowdfunding platform for U.S. entrepreneurs. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader, and serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofits.

Jessica holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a certificate in Global Leadership and Public Policy from the Harvard Kenney School, and a BA from Bucknell University. She is the author of Clay Water Brick: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least (Random House).

Jessica lives in LA with her husband Reza Aslan, and their three sons.

Long bio

Jessica is an entrepreneur and investor. Her work over the last decade has focused on financial inclusion, the sharing economy, and social justice.

She is best known as a cofounder of Kiva, the world's first p2p microlending website. Kiva lets internet users lend as little as $25 to individual entrepreneurs, providing them affordable capital to start or expand a small business. Since its founding in October 2005 Kiva has facilitated over $880M in loans worldwide.

Jessica currently teaches Social Entrepreneurship at the Marshall School of Business at USC. She is also an independent consultant on social impact initiatives, and an investor and advisor with the Collaborative Fund. She also recently served as Walt Disney Imagineering's first Entrepreneur in Residence, focusing on projects related to corporate citizenship, the sharing economy, and happiness.

Before this, Jessica was a Cofounder and CEO of ProFounder, a pioneering crowdfunding platform for U.S. entrepreneurs which later joined forces with GOOD to create new tools and experiences for their community of creators.

Jessica served from 2010-2012 as a Visiting Practitioner at Stanford’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society. She has taught Entrepreneurial Design for Social Change at Drew University and has lectured around the world. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a 2011 World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader, and serves as an active board member or advisor for several nonprofit organizations including Habitat for Humanity. She holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business , a certificate in Global Leadership and Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Bucknell University, and honorary PhDs from Centenary College and Quinnipiac University.

Jessica is a trained yoga instructor and avid surfer who lives in Los Angeles with her husband, author Reza Aslan, and their three young sons. Her first book, CLAY WATER BRICK: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least was published in June 2015 (Penguin Random House).