Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kiva City lands in Los Angeles

What if the money trapped in our wallets could lead a double life? If all of us freed as little as $25 from our wallets to fund loans to small business owners, what kind of impact could we make on the global economy, employment and morale? 

The sky is truly the limit.

Today, Kiva City launches in Los Angeles, home to 325,000 small businesses -- the largest small business community in the United States. By working with organizations rooted in the LA metro area, Kiva will extend flexible, risk-tolerant capital to entrepreneurs striving to grow businesses with little to no financial support.

These people are the cornerstone of the local and national economies, and the foundation of the American Dream. But as the global economy struggles to find its footing, current and aspiring small business owners have few places to turn to for capital.

According to U.S. Small Business Administration Chief Karen Mills, “Small-dollar loans and loans in underserved communities are still not back at the levels we need them.”

Enter Kiva. Combining the crowdsourcing power of the internet, Kiva's amazing lender community, and generous backing from Visa, Kiva City LA will help bridge this financial gap -- connecting entrepreneurs with a global community of lenders who can read their stories and chip in as little as $25 to help them get where they're going.

Los Angeles is our third Kiva City, joining Detroit and New Orleans, where hundreds of Kiva lenders are already supporting entrepreneurs, helping to create jobs, and infusing local economies and communities with new energy and opportunity.

In LA, we're partnering up with the Mayor's Office of Small Business and the Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC) to understand and meet the unique needs of Los Angeles' entrepreneurs. 

But the ripple effect of lending doesn't stop there. When small busiensses grow and expand, local economies are able to increase support for schools, city services and sustainable community programs. The takeaway: your impact as a Kiva City LA lender will extend far and wide, even after you've been repaid.

Want to get started lending to a Los Angeles entrepreneur? Click here .

Have questions about the Kiva City program or Kiva City LA? Drop us a line at contactus@kiva.org.