By Robert Higgs cleveland.com
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) "Kiva" is coming to Cleveland! Lenders will be able to connect with borrowers with loans for as little as $25. The average loan through Kiva Cleveland is expected to be $5,000 offered at 0% interest with no fees.
The city of Cleveland, in partnership with a pair of development organizations, plans to launch a crowdsourcing platform later this week to help small business find financing needed to get started.
Kiva Cleveland, scheduled to launch Friday, will offer microloans to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. The goal is to promote community regeneration and wealth creation.
“Small businesses are important to Cleveland’s economy. By providing small business owners with accessible capital, Kiva will serve as a valuable resource to local entrepreneurs,” Mayor Frank Jackson said in a statement Monday. “This partnership is part of a larger effort to drive economic growth within Cleveland and support aspiring business owners.”
The program is in partnership with the Economic Community Development Institute, based in Columbus, and Kiva, an international nonprofit based in San Francisco that seeks to alleviate poverty by connecting people with lenders.
Through Kiva Cleveland, people will be able to sign up to become lenders who can help small businesses grow and promote local job creation. Through an online portal, lenders will be able to connect with borrowers with loans for as little as $25. The average loan through Kiva Cleveland is expected to be $5,000 offered at 0% interest with no fees.
ECDI, partnering in Kiva Cleveland with the city’s Economic Development department, will help with operational and technical assistance and building relationships through community engagement.
The model for the program, the Kiva Hub City model, already is in use in 14 other cities across the country including Columbus and Cincinnati.
Internationally, 1.8 million lenders have crowdfunded $1.25 billion in Kiva loans to more than 3.1 million entrepreneurs. The repayment rate is 97%, according to Kiva. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.