As a non-profit organization assisting small businesses with financing requests every day, we at PCDfc understand the struggles of those looking for small loans. Fortunately, there are quite a few options for those seeking micro funds; unfortunately, getting the word out as to what those options are is not always an easy task. Kiva, an international nonprofit web-based crowdfunding platform, has been doing just that since 2005. Based out of San Francisco with satellite office throughout the United States (locally here in Philadelphia), Kiva’s mission is to make connections through lending. The lending platform creates opportunities to alleviate poverty, celebrate and support entrepreneurs looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and communities.
A crowdfunding platform brings lenders and borrowers together through a website, creating a worldwide reach. As a Kiva lender, individuals are in control of where they lend based on the campaign profile of the entrepreneur in need. Lending begins with as little as $25 with repayment expected over 24-36 months. As the borrower pays back the lender, the funds can recycle to assist another Kiva borrower allowing the Lender to fund a loan, get re-paid and fund another. 100% of every dollar crowdfunded on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva’s operational expenses are covered by grants and sponsors.
KIVA BY THE NUMBERS
- 2.3 million borrowers
- 82 countries
- 1.6 million lenders
- $947 million loans funded
- 97.2% repayment rate
Small businesses borrowers can seek up to $10,000 at zero percent interest to be repaid within 3 years with loans under $5,000 to be repaid within 2 years. The borrower creates a compelling funding campaign profile which provides some background and explains to the lender what the funds are to be used for. This profile must pass a friends and family funding benchmark before moving out to the World Wide Web.
As a Trustee for Kiva, PCDfc supports entrepreneurs we believe in and publicly endorse a borrower on the Kiva website. We provide technical support to the borrower in creating their online campaign and vet through the financials ensuring their plan provides the capacity to re-pay the loan. PCDfc coaches the Borrower through their campaign period and shares in the victory celebration.
PCDfc’s Tips to Borrowers for Crowdfunding on Kiva
- Be the organizer – Be the driving force and put yourself out there to market your campaign. You are your own cheerleader and PCDfc can help in this arena. We have close to a decade in SBA 504 lending experience and can be a great resource.
- Give them a reason to lend- It’s important to explain your need, explain why you do what you do in your business to be successful; it’s always good to tap into the heart strings, as they are typically attached to the wallet.
- Engage in your community- Especially through social media! A successful business model that includes ones community is always a winner. By engaging in your community you are meeting people, people like to do business with people they know and trust. Social media has become an excellent outlet in building small businesses community. Sharing your story through social media has greatly assisted Kiva borrowers. At Kiva, loans aren’t just about money—they’re a way to create connection and relationships.
- Be professional and organized- Small business owners need to be organized and able to focus on many things at one time. Organizational skills reflect positively in so many ways, it also creates a natural professionalism.
To learn more about Kiva borrowing or lending visit pcdfc.com/kivazip today. There is no time like the present to start or grow a business or lend a hand to help an entrepreneur realize their potential.
The Pennsylvania Community Development & Finance Corp., www.pcdfc.com, 610.898.6045