Stories from United States
Pittsburgh is so hot right now.
Not literally, since the Iron City is experiencing its harshest winter in over 20 years, but in terms of livability, affordability, and romance, Pittsburgh is going through a surge of positive media coverage for an amazing economic turnaround.
This is, in part, due to the efforts of local entrepreneurs opening new businesses in various Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Harry Geyer of The Wheel Mill is the perfect example. His vision for an indoor bike park materialized in the spring of 2013, and was helped along by a Kiva Zip loan late... Continue Reading >>
Alfredo is the owner of El Sereno Shoe Repair, a small business that has been family owned and operated in East LA for over 30 years and two generations. He’s a hardworking, old-fashioned shoe cobbler that’s dedicated to serving his community with exceptional quality and customer service.
Eighteen years ago, 11-year-old Ezequiel Olvera approached Alfredo with an ask. Ezequiel explained that he had invested in an old 10-cent gumball machine with the hope of making enough money to attend college. He asked Alfredo if he’d be willing to... Continue Reading >>
Kiva Zip is an innovative pilot program created by Kiva that uses mobile and electronic payment technology to enable direct, 0% interest loans to financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs. The loans are crowd-funded on Kiva Zip’s website, where anyone with an Internet connection can lend as little as $5 to a borrower of their choice.
One of the principal aims of the program is to expand access to capital... Continue Reading >>
As a Kiva Zip fellow, one of the best aspects of the job, aside from helping financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs is the inspiring people you meet along the way. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this ‘goodwill’ amongst people is really infectious.
It begins of course with the staff at Kiva HQ, which is right here in San Francisco, but it extends out into the wider community, where on your search for borrowers and trustees,... Continue Reading >>
When I was first assigned to Newark for my Kiva fellowship, I didn’t know what to expect. I live in Manhattan and up until that point the only time I had been to Newark was to go to the airport. My first introduction to the real Newark was through a group of local organizations that serve as trustees with Kiva Zip. Kiva Zip trustees are responsible for sourcing Kiva Zip borrowers, reviewing their business and personal finances, vouching for their character, and publicly endorsing them on the Kiva Zip website.
I met with a number of... Continue Reading >>
The Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber is a non-profit organization that focuses economic advancement for the Latino and Hispanic community in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Based in Portland, the Chamber is one of the few that does actual technical assistance work: they offer one-to-one technical assistance for small business owners, host monthly luncheons for networking, conduct business seminars, offer and facilitate scholarships... Continue Reading >>
To say that Pittsburgh, Penn. nonprofit Urban Innovation21 is a model trustee is an understatement. Urban Innovation21 has only been a Kiva Zip trustee for four months but has already helped four small businesses get a crowd-funded loan apiece. All of the small businesses, from Tracy's Shear Delight Beauty Salon to Angela's A-1 Business Center, are now on the repayment stage. It's almost too good to believe. How does Urban Innovation21 do it?... Continue Reading >>