Entrepreneurship is down in America. Americans are starting fewer businesses and new companies are going out of business sooner. One of the top reasons why businesses close is because of the lack of access to capital. Limited capital is one of the biggest challenges I hear from business owners who are trying to launch, grow or even maintain a business.
The non-profit organization, Kiva has assisted business owners in alleviating some of this challenge by creating a crowdfunding platform for loans up to $10,000. These are 0% interest and no fee loans. I recently attended a Kiva event designed for business owners to learn more about their platform. I was quite impressed with both their record and their efforts.
Crowdfunding has been a very popular way for businesses to raise money in recent years. It is where the general public is able to invest money to support different businesses.
Kiva helps small business owners by giving them access to capital to launch or expand their businesses. With the support of local organizations and partners, Kiva has assisted in financing over 600 entrepreneurs throughout New York City.
In NYC, minority-owned businesses represent 70% of those assisted. Women-owned businesses represent 61%. The top industries are service, food and retail, but the types of businesses run the gamut.
Kiva started by assisting entrepreneurs outside of the US to raise money for their businesses which has been providing ongoing income for families and changing lives. They have assisted millions of entrepreneurs in raising over $1 billion dollars around the world.
Many of the businesses they initially started with were in distressed countries. The vast majority of these businesses were owned by women entrepreneurs. In recent years, Kiva, the US based company, decided to bring their efforts to the states. With entrepreneurship currently on the decline in America, Kiva saw the opportunity to support would-be entrepreneurs to create businesses and assist other entrepreneurs with the funds they need to stay in business.
They now have a new initiative to assist farmers across the country. So, they have been extending financing to community farms and farmers markets across New York City.
They have also partnered with the City of New York through the WE NYC program to assist funding women entrepreneurs in New York City.
If you are in need of capital to launch or grow your business, Kiva is a wonderful place to start on the long road to funding your entrepreneurial dream.
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