Startup Junkie Foundation recently announced that it will continue its Kiva loan program assistance offerings in Northwest Arkansas. The Kiva loan program helps small business owners access much-needed capital during the continued Covid-19 crisis, and assists future entrepreneurs wanting to launch new businesses due to changes in their work lives and endeavors.
The program will now provide an additional $190,000 in matching no-fee, no-interest loan funds for every new, approved small business borrower in Washington and Benton counties. Approved borrowers looking for capital to react to or recover from the Covid-19 crisis or launch new businesses will be able to have up to 50 percent of their Kiva approved loan offering matched by these funds. The continued match fund is supported through a fund from the Walton Family Foundation to Kiva US, located in San Francisco.
“Since the launch of the Kiva NWA Hub in December of 2019, we have assisted 54 NWA borrowers with obtaining Kiva crowdfunded loans ranging from $3,000 to $15,000. 50 of those 54 loans have been borrowers who identify as a minority or a woman business owner,” said Martha Londagin, Kiva NWA Hub Capital Access manager.
Back in Dec. 2019, the Startup Junkie Foundation launched the state’s first official Kiva Hub in Northwest Arkansas. From April 2020 to April 2021, this fund was also expanded to offer a 75 percent match fund for early Covid-19 pandemic relief. This latest fund launched in Oct. 2021 will assist the Kiva NWA Hub with helping NWA borrowers continue to fund faster on the kiva.org international platform through Sept. 2022, or until the latest Walton Family Foundation matching loan fund account is fully disbursed.
Loans through the Kiva platform require 5 to 40 (depending upon the loan amount approved by Kiva) initial, private community loans of as little as $25 each, from customers, or friends and family of the borrower before launching to the national community of lenders. These private local loans are the “community collateral” of the borrower vouching for support of the entrepreneur. All Kiva lenders are repaid the loans from the borrower via the Kiva repayment system using PayPal. PayPal donates its use for free to Kiva.
The Kiva U.S. loan program currently offers:
Mission-Focused Eligibility: More women, minority, LGBTQ+, veteran, or other disadvantaged entrepreneurs in the U.S. are eligible for a Kiva loan for business needs due to Kiva’s non-profit mission to serve historically disadvantaged borrowers.
Loan Sizes: The maximum loan offering on the Kiva platform is up to $15,000 for existing businesses, and loans ranging from $1,000-$5,000 on average for startup businesses.
Regular Terms: All the crowd funded loans are at a 0 percent interest rate with no fees charged due to Kiva being a nonprofit, online, public, crowdfunding entity. PayPal is required to be used by lenders and borrowers as its services are donated at no charge to Kiva because Kiva is a non-profit entity. Monthly repayment terms are 12-36 months depending upon the loan amount approved.
Each business that applies must be able to provide some basic business proof documents, such as a business bank account statement, business license, LLC incorporation documents, or a county dba certificate copy for a sole proprietor, unincorporated business.
“We have already seen the impact this program can have on NWA small business owners since 2019,” said Londagin. “These are truly loans that change lives. I believe we can make a difference in our small business community with the Kiva program during this time of continued uncertainty.”
The repayment rate for Kiva loan borrowers is approximately 78 percent in the U.S. Through the Kiva NWA Hub, the Startup Junkie Foundation provides consulting and technical assistance to borrowers and small business owners, including assistance with the Kiva online application process, working with them step-by-step to increase the likelihood of Kiva loan raising approval. While borrowers can seek loan approval through Kiva without going through the Hub, having a local partner like the Startup Junkie Foundation and the Kiva Capital Access Manager (CAM) increases the likelihood of success for local entrepreneurs and business owners.
Small business owners interested in applying for a crowdfunded Kiva loan should contact Martha Londagin at [email protected] or dial (479) 276-7096 for free assistance with the online loan application.