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Kiva Pittsburgh celebrates $1 M in crowd funded business loans

 


Kiva Pittsburgh has disbursed $1 million in Kiva micro-loans. Each loan is crowdfunded by hundreds of lenders from the business owner’s own community and around the world via Kiva.org.

Within the Pittsburgh region, 199 individual loans totaling $1,029,125 have been dispensed; 11,955 unique individuals contributed, and the average loan size was $5,171. Kiva’s loans are offered at 0 percent interest and are not based on traditional financial criteria; instead, the character and potential of the business owner are evaluated.

Kiva Pittsburgh trustee Carrie Nardini believes “Kiva is truly a unique and powerful resource for the Pittsburgh region. I hope that every day, more and more folks will head to Kiva’s website and lend to Pittsburgh businesses. It’s easy to do and the impact is staggeringly positive. Very often, the one barrier preventing individuals from taking the leap to expand their business is affordable funding. Kiva creates that connection.”

She became a Kiva trustee to help entrepreneurs whom she personally works with take the next step in growing their own businesses.

Minority business owners received 52 percent of loans and 61 percent of loans went to female business owners. Past recipients of Kiva Pittsburgh loans include Arnold’s Tea in East Allegheny, Olive & Marlowe in East Liberty, Power 59 Construction LLC in the Hill District, Steel City Movers in Wilkinsburg, and La Palapa Mexican Gourmet Kitchen and Carmi Soul Food in the South Side—among dozens of other businesses.

“I would not have been able to bring my ideas to life without the support and access to financial capital I received through the Kiva program,” former loan recipient Brandy Horchak-Jevsjukova from Warriors Call Boxing stated. “Our business caters to local disabled veterans and first responders, and they now have a place to train, heal, and transition. We are lucky to have a Kiva initiative in Pittsburgh and I am excited to see more entrepreneurial veterans like me take advantage of it.”

Kiva Pittsburgh Program Director Emily Keebler hopes the $1 million announcement will help to spread the word and educate interested small business owners who have heard about micro-loans but might not know of all the advantages.

She hopes to inspire business owners to apply for a loan through Kiva’s website. In addition to online resources, Kiva Pittsburgh staff are available to guide applicants through the process and provide direction on how to create a strong campaign.

 

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