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Kiva Loan Fund

Through our partnership with the online crowdfunding platform Kiva, we are increasing access to capital for entrepreneurs. Small business owners can apply for loans of up to $15,000, with zero fees and 0% interest. We place special emphasis on women- and minority-owned businesses in Richmond's Metro Area and Petersburg.

Expanding Access to Capital Based on Character, Not Credit

Rather than evaluating a borrower's credit-worthiness based on credit scores, collateral, and cash flow, Kiva loans are based on a borrower's character and trust network. Our network of Trustees — local organizations that vouch for an entrepreneur's character and the viability of her business — endorse borrowers, who can then begin fundraising on the Kiva website. Members of the entrepreneur's personal network, as well as individual lenders from around the world, give as little as $25 towards the fundraising goal, and borrowers repay them within three years.

As a Kiva borrower, you'll be able to

  • Qualify for a loan based on your character and network
  • Access 0% interest, no-fee loans up to $15,000
  • Interact with your supporters and boost brand exposure
  • Finance new product lines, purchase equipment and inventory, upgrade your technology, ramp up your marketing, and more

What are the loan terms?

  • Loan Amount: $500 to $15,000
  • Loan Term: up to 3 years
  • Interest Rate: 0%
  • Loan Fee: $0
  • Repayment: monthly payments administered through PayPal
  • Eligible Uses: Working capital, leasehold improvements, expansion, FF&E, inventory, and marketing and website design.

What small businesses are eligible?

  • The borrower is a legal business
  • The applicant is over 18 years of age
  • There is no minimum credit score – approval is based on your character and network
  • Must reach the crowdfunding goal to receive the funds
  • Currently not in bankruptcy or foreclosure
  • Have ability to create a PayPal account
  • To qualify for LISC matching funds, borrower must be endorsed by a LISC trustee

LISC Virginia Kiva Trustees

The Metropolitan Business League is the first Trustee for the Central Virginal KIVA Hub. As a trustee, they will publically endorse small businesses for loan funding and provide essential support to their application process. MBL will also offer workshops and technical assistance to the businesses to improve their operations and access additional resources.

 
Program Flyer ►

 

Get there faster with our 1:1 match

LISC Virginia is able to match all contributions to borrowers who have been endorsed by our Trustees. That means you can meet your fundraising goal — and get to work on improving or expanding your business — twice as fast!

Make a loan to a local entrepreneur

It's easy to support local businesses with a loan of as little as $25. Take a look at who's currently raising funds, and see who we've made loans to date.

 
Ongoing Fundraisers ►

 

Become a Borrower or Trustee

To find out if you're eligible for a Kiva loan, or to join our growing list of Trustees and begin helping local businesses raise capital, contact Schirra Hayes at wshayes@lisc.org.