Kiva: Recognizing that small businesses and a spirit of entrepreneurship form the cornerstone of economic development, the Horseshoe Foundation provided $25,000 to Kiva, an innovative program to match small business peer-to-peer loans at 0 percent interest in Floyd County. Kiva, the micro-lending, crowd funding platform is relatively new to southern Indiana and the metro area.
The foundation board believes this will be a great economic development tool for entrepreneurs and those starting or expanding businesses that might not have the ability to get traditional loans.
Kiva started in 2005 as a crowd-funding platform to support emerging market micro-entrepreneurs. In the U. S., non-profit micro-lenders and traditional banks make very few loans to start-up or early-stage small businesses because borrowers may not meet the traditional measures of creditworthiness. With Kiva, Small businesses can borrow up to $5,000 for their 1st loan over 12 months, repaid in regular weekly/monthly installments via PayPal. Subsequent loans up to $25,000 can then be applied for with 24-36 repayment terms. Social underwriting is used to evaluate a borrower's credit worthiness, not traditional financial metrics. Borrowers must be endorsed by a trustee to begin the loan process.
When a borrower takes out a loan on Kiva, they not only get financial capital but they also realize a number of other benefits, because the nature of crowd lending is that it connects borrowers potentially with hundreds of people in many ways – becoming their customers, dispensing business advice, acting as their brand ambassadors by promoting their business on social media and offering personal encouragement.
More information is available at Kiva.org. Contact Jerry Finn at 812-945-4332 for additional information.