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Microfinancing for US entrepreneurs

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Thursday June 11, 2009 )

I’ve written a few times about Kiva – the micro-financing networking service usually associated with assisting entrepreneurs in developing countries. The organization has just announced it will be extending its coverage to entrepreneurs in the USA.

I’ve been involved with Kiva for a while and have found it to be a great way to give other small business people who face much larger challenges than most of us do a bit of a helping hand.

But whether you’re in Namibia or New York, if you need a little cash to get an idea off the ground it can be hard to come by; even more so during these hard times. Many financial institutions just don’t want to lend to small players and if you can get a loan, it usually attracts a sky-high interest rate or is provided by someone with questionable loaning practices.

That’s where Kiva can help. A bunch of us lenders contribute a bit each to various entrepreneurs who post requests for loans via the Kiva service. There’s no cash in it for the lenders, just the warm and fuzzy vibe of helping a fellow business person out. Given that, the interest rates charged by field partners working with Kiva are pretty low.

All U.S. based loans offered on the Kiva site at this time are of entrepreneurs in New York and California, however, they will be including entrepreneurs from additional states soon.

So whether you’d like to assist an entrepreneur or would like to learn more about gaining a loan, check out Kiva for further details.


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