Last month in April, Kiva and Advanta Bank, one of the nation's largest issuers of credit cards to the small business market, formally announced the launch of the KivaB4B Project with a beautiful party in downtown Philadelphia. KivaB4B is a joint initiative between two unique organizations supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners. The program is simple. Advanta empowers its cardholders (well over one million) to 'double the impact' of their Kiva loans. Anytime a lender uses their Advanta credit card (or the new KivaB4B card) to make a grant, Advanta will match it - dollar for dollar - up to $200 per month per account. Additionally, for every card that Kiva activates, the organization also receives $100 from Advanta. That helps keep the lights on.
Small businesses in the US can clearly have a major impact on emerging businesses in the Third World and we think this is a unique way to empower those who want to help. One other interesting piece of the project is that new KivaB4B members will receive a welcome kit with tools to use their business' support of Kiva as a cause related marketing campaign. Typically, leveraging a company's philanthropic efforts has been reserved for larger businesses. Because Kiva grants are so personal, Advanta wanted to provide the small business owner with things like postcards, envelopes, stationary and store stickers that they could use to tell the world how they're helping other small business owners around the world.
Check out the website (www.kivab4b.org) and the community blog (www.b4bcommunity.org) for stories and other info related to the project.