Mayor Cory A. Booker, Citi Foundation New Jersey State Director for Citi Community Development Helen Stebleck, Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rita Allen Foundation, Kiva.org President Premal Shah, Intersect Fund Executive Director Rohan Mathew, Intersect Fund client and announced the launch of Kiva City Newark, an their new location, Dyrden Mansion, 59 Lincoln Park House. The initiative is a partnership of Kiva, Intersect Fund, the Rita Allen Foundation and other local groups advancing community revitalization through entrepreneurship. Kiva City Newark objective is to bolster small business growth in the City by providing crowdfunded loans to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to start or expand their businesses.
Kiva and Intersect Fund are nonprofit organizations facilitating microloans to passionate and driven small business owners. When we think of microloans we normally think of Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel peace prized winner and author and founder of Gameen Bank. Kiva is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good with 950,000 people crowdfunding 1 million entrepreneurs in 65 countries. The Intersect Fund is a rapidly growing, nonprofit microlender that equips the least fortunate with the skills and capital to develop successful businesses, generate income and build assets. Intersect provided additional assistance to small businesses, and will utilize its extensive networks to identify qualified businesses in the Newark area that would benefit from a loan and provide them with important educational services for business success. To apply for an Intersect Fund loan, visit www.intersectfund.org.
“Kiva City Newark gives everyone a chance to help support local jobs and businesses,” said Mayor Booker. “When you help to crowdfund a loan to a small business, you are creating jobs in local communities, which in turn supports another local business, and another. As small businesses grow and expand, local economies improve, helping to support schools, city services and more vibrant and sustainable communities.” Newark joins similar Kiva initiatives in Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and hundreds of other cities across the nation and around the world.
“We can’t understate the value and role small businesses play in the local community and the impact they have on our local economy,” said Intersect Fund’s Executive Director Mathew. “The small business owners and future entrepreneurs that we work with have all the elements of success, except access to capital that grows their business. Through this initiative, each of us can crowdfund their potential and support an entire community.”
Visitors to www.kiva.org/newark can browse entrepreneurs’ profiles and stories and choose one to support with a loan of $25 or more. The money that is lent then helps to crowdfund a loan to that entrepreneur. When the entrepreneur successfully repays, one can choose to lend that $25 to another person or withdraw the money from the system. Every dollar an individual lends to an entrepreneur in New Jersey will be matched by the Rita Allen Foundation, up to a total of $50,000.
(Kiva Founder, Premal Shah)
The vision was eloquently articulated from its president and founder, Premal Shah. Beginning seven years ago, the concept of having small business tell their story on the internet, and let anyone in the world with a credit card and access to the internet, could fund a business. Crowdfunding loans fill a critical lending gap faced by entrepreneurs whose businesses are too young, too small, or too innovative to receive loans from traditional lenders. Small businesses create two-thirds of all new jobs; if one in three small businesses hired one more person, the U.S. would be at full employment. When small businesses succeed, cities succeed. Crowdfunding small business loans gives each of us a chance to support thriving local economies, communities and jobs,” said Kiva President Shah. “If the money stored in our wallets was given a new life for a short amount of time, as a loan to a small business owner, each of us could help to shape the course and success of the economy. A single loan, a single business or a single job can help change the trajectory of families, communities, and cities.”
The beginning of the process is through a referral through the list of trustees. The trustees vouch for the business, and the character of the owner” Once endorsed by a trustee, borrowers can post their loan requests at zip.kiva.org and begin getting their loans crowdfunded by friends, community members and Kiva’s growing global community of 950,000 lenders. When entrepreneurs successfully pay back, they too can become Kiva Zip trustees and “pay it forward” by endorsing other small business entrepreneurs in their trust network.
In full disclosure GlocallyNewark, is one of the first 31 small business participated in the initial launch of Kiva Zip Newark. We thought this was an innovative way to provide needed resources to small businesses. Glocally is looking to upgrade it computing, and video capability so we can provide “live video streaming” and return to our event blogging, Glocally was best known for, we need your support to grow. If you are interested in participating in Glocally future, please go to https://zip.kiva.org/loans
(Kim Osterhoudt of James By Kim, and Intersect Fund Executive Director Rohan Mathew)
Several other local organizations are joining Kiva City Newark as Kiva Zip trustees. Kiva Zip is a new program of Kiva’s that allows individuals and organizations to become trustees and publicly vouch for entrepreneurs who they know and trust in their community. Trustees in the Newark area include; Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC), the Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation, the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Rising Tide Capital, Forward Ever and Jalima & Associates.
Kiva – Jason Riggs: (415) 871-7351 E-mail: Jason@kiva.org
The Intersect Fund – Gretchen Pahia: (602) 309-4286 E-mail: Gretchen@pitchpublicrelations.com