By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

Kiva cofounder, Jessica Jackley received a Visionary Award at SVForum in Silicon Valley this month. She joined an impressive roster of former award winners that includes Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Padmasree Warrior.
Jackley took a few moments with me to share tips for aspiring entrepreneurs and some clues about her latest startup, launching this Fall.
She enthuses about Silicon Valley being “an incredibly special pocket of the world” where “people have a great capacity to imagine new futures.”
“So many people here have the resources and skills to make these new stories unfold, become real,” she adds.

Here are some highlights of our conversation.

Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs:

1. Be passionate

Do something you are passionate about and have a vision for.

2. Start small

Remember Kiva began with seven entrepreneurs and a little over $3000. It recently surpassed the $500,000,000 mark in microloans to entrepreneurs around the world, serving almost 2 million Kiva users in 76 countries. The average loan amount is $10.

3. Be excellent

Serve one person, or one community well and build from there. Be thoughtful, intentional and think about the details. Study and absorb what’s unfolding in front of you, and be present.

On her new startup

1. Focus

I’m excited to focus on serving working parents…I’m in the trenches right now and that’s the people I want to serve.

2. The Problem

I hope to consult with companies on their policies, culture that supports or doesn’t support working parents. There’s a lot of room for improvement in existing companies.

3. The Solution

My goal is to make it easier and provide options for working parents to prioritize and design their own work and lives around that. Parenting is one of the most entrepreneurial things that I’ll ever do. There’s so much that maps from my experience into motherhood that I want to share with other people. I want to work at the company level and with individuals to demand what they want.

4. The Context

In Europe, it’s top down, (working parents) are taken care of by institutions. I don’t want to wait for that (policy change) to happen here. It’s the better and faster way to go here, in this (US) culture.

Find out more about other SVForum visionary award winners and check back soon for interviews with Stanford’s Tina Seilig, VC Tim Draper and Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America.

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This video is part of a special “Inspiring Women” series at Fresh Dialogues featuring Meryl Streep, Sheryl Sandberg, Jennifer Granholm, Maureen Dowd, and Belva Davis. Check out the YouTube video series here

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Alison van Diggelen