Crowdfunded lending program celebrates one year anniversary with Mayor Michael Nutter and Kiva President Premal Shah
Philadelphia, December 4, 2015 – Kiva City Philadelphia will celebrate its one-year anniversary at the Center for Architecture at 5:30 p.m. today with a holiday marketplace and a program, including Mayor Michael Nutter and Kiva President, Premal Shah. Last December, Kiva.org and the City announced the launch of Kiva City Philadelphia. Kivazip.org is a website where small businesses can create a profile to feature their business and loan goal to crowdfund a 0% interest microloan.
“Small businesses are critical to Philadelphia’s economy, but access to capital is often a huge hurdle to their success. When we launched Kiva Philadelphia last year, I was excited about the potential of such an important resource for the small business community and I am thrilled to see that it is having the impact that we hoped for,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.
The launch of Kiva City Philadelphia included the placement of a Kiva Philadelphia Manager for two years. Housed at the City’s Commerce Department, Kiva Philadelphia Manager Alyssa Thomas, reaches out daily to neighborhood businesses, business networks and community development corporations. Thomas’ work has yielded more than 40 formal partnerships and had gotten the word out in every corner of Philadelphia about this opportunity for small businesses.
Since its launch last year, Kiva has had a large impact on the small business community in the city. At the time of the launch, the program had funded 12 loans for a total of $57,000. A year later, Kiva has funded 57 additional loans for an another $261,000 – bringing the program’s total to 71 loans fully funded for more than $318,000. Kiva.org/Philadelphia currently has 8 more loans fundraising for a total of $40,000.
Kiva City Philadelphia has delivered capital to a diverse range of communities on all fronts (neighborhoods, ethnicity, and industry): 59% of businesses to date have been ethnic minorities, including Chany Sot, a Cambodian immigrant and owner of Angela’s Boutique.
Chany arrived in the United States knowing very little English and only having a few pots and bowls to her name. She and her husband worked several jobs to take care of their two children, including running their own dry cleaners. Esperanza, a community development corporation located in North Philadelphia focusing on economic development and education, took an interest in helping Chany.
For the past seven months, Tempest Carter, an Esperanza employee, has consulted with Chany on everything from purchasing and securing qualified contractors to redo her storefront to helping her apply for a Kiva loan.
“If Chany is successful, Wyoming Avenue becomes more successful. She is an inspiration to those in the community to try new ideas and cater to needs that are not currently being met,” said Tempest Carter.
For Chany, the opportunity to access a Kiva loan has been a dream. “I thought I would have to wait until my 12 year old daughter, Angela, went to college to pursue my dream of owning my own dress shop. Tempest and Esperanza believed I could do it, and with their help and Kiva Zip’s my dreams are coming true,” said Chany Sot.
This is the kind of story that Kiva.org aims to repeat at the here and around the country and the globe. Kiva President Premal Shah has high hopes for Kiva City Philadelphia. “We at Kiva are so pleased that the program has already become so popular in Philadelphia. More often than not, the old adage really is true that you need money in order to make money. We look forward to helping thousands of Philadelphia businesses access capital in order reach their entrepreneurial dreams.”
To learn more about Kiva City Philadelphia, please visit: http://www.kiva.org/philadelphia.