social change | June 22, 2015

A Blueprint for Change: Jessica Jackley's First Book, Clay Water Brick, Publishes Today

"The heart of entrepreneurship is never about what we have," says Jessica Jackley, co-founder of revolutionary microlending site KIVA. "It’s about what we do.” Jackley's first book, Clay Water Brick: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least, is out today. It features lessons learned from successful businesses in the world’s poorest countries, motivating readers to more deeply appreciate the incredible entrepreneurial potential that exists in every human being on this planet—especially themselves.

Kirkus Reviews calls the book "a charming account of how 'to pursue opportunity and possibility where others see none'," while Ariana Huffington says it's "a blueprint for anyone who wants to make the world a better place and find fulfillment in the process, no matter how scarce their resources or how steep the challenge."

In an excerpt from Clay Water Brick in Forbes, Jackley talks about her father's influence on her work. "Throughout my childhood, and even when I left for college, he would repeatedly remind me of the importance of reflecting on my purpose, and creating and sticking to corresponding goals that would help me stay on the course I wanted for my life. He urged me to use my own mission, and not the choices or expectations of others, as a beacon. What was important in life, he insisted, was not how I measured up to anyone else—it was how I measured up to the aspirations I had for myself."

These aspirations were lofty, as Jackley set off for Africa in her twenties to finally meet the people she had long dreamed of helping. The insights of those she met changed her understanding. Today she believes that many of the most inspiring entrepreneurs in the world are not focused on high-tech ventures or making a lot of money; instead, they wake up every day and build better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities, regardless of the things they lack or the obstacles they encounter.

In Clay Water Brick and in her talks, Jackley challenges us to embrace entrepreneurship as a powerful force for change in the world. She shares her own story of founding Kiva with little more than a laptop and a dream, and the stories and the lessons she has learned from those across the globe who are doing the most with the least.

To book Jessica Jackley as the keynote speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.

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entrepreneurship | June 21, 2015