Saturday, June 30, 2012

Week in Review: Keeping things interesting in the City of Angels

We often think of Kiva lenders as micro-angel investors. It's a fitting term that touches on both the act of lending and the experience of helping someone. For many small business owners, finding people willing to support loans for under $10,000 feels like nothing short of searching for angels.

Edwin De Rosal, co-owner of Cafe 22 in Los Angeles, needed a $5,000 loan to help the health food restaurant hire a delivery person. After being rejected by three banks, Kiva's angels came to the rescue. As he told the LA Times, the money was "a key to expand."

This week, micro-angels descended upon the City of Angeles as we launched our latest Kiva City. It seems that even in a city full of storytellers, drama, and comedy, the story of the American Dream still resonates. We have been overwhelmed by the excitement and support. In just four days, ten of the 13 loans we posted have already been funded. 

A year ago when we launched our first Kiva City in Detroit, it was an experiment. The initiative was sparked by a conversation with then First Lady of California Maria Shriver who asked: "What about assisting women right here in California?" The success of Kiva City reminded us of our mission to be brave and think big.

As we all get older, it's too easy to become risk adverse. You settle into a routine and you get comfortable. When you feel this happening, it's vital to shake things up.

This week, Kiva hosted a group of high school students participating in the Youth Leadership America program, and within minutes of being at Kiva HQ, they began suggesting new ways to do things. That energy is inspiring and infectious.

This weekend, we urge you to be bold, think outside the box. It feels good, and even if it doesn't work out, you'll learn and grow from the experience.

Need more inspiration? Check out this Los Angeles high schooler who was wait-listed at his top choice college, University of Michigan. Instead of submitting the standard letter arguing why he should be accepted, he made a Youtube video singing Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," And, you know what? It worked!

Photo courtesy of ĐāżŦ.