Giving Small Businesses a Chance
Kiva, a nonprofit specializing in microfinancing, has recently expanded its focus from alleviating poverty world-wide to attempting to revitalizing cities within the U.S. It has done so by establishing Kiva Cities; first Detroit, now New Orleans.
While drawing big business can be hugely impactful for the wealth of a city, small businesses are the backbones (in a variety of ways, not just wealth) of communities. Kiva has initiated a program, through
Kiva Cities, that will allow small business owners in the U.S. to receive loans through microfinancing.
A screen-shot from the Kiva Cities webpage.
Kiva's first city was
Detroit, where all of the loans have currently sold out. And, though a very new initiative, their second city (
New Orleans) has also experienced sold out loans. This initiative is an inspiration to me in terms of finding ways to back small businesses in America, the impact that action can potentially have on bringing vibrancy back to communities, and the mass amount of support for this initiative (evidenced by all of the fully funded loans) from people all over the world.
For an example, check out
Chrystal, whose business development and networking course ($2700) was funded by 45 lenders from areas as local as East Lansing, Michigan and as international as Spain and Norway.