Feb 4, 2019

Launch of Kiva Greater Madison to Fuel Economic Growth Through Entrepreneurship

Presented by:  City of Madison, The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), Madison Gas and Electric, The Doyenne Group and Kiva
Location:  The Sylvee   (25 S. Livingston Street, Madison)
Time: 5:00-7:00 PM
Featured Speaker: Mayor Soglin

Launch to be held February 4, 2019, 5:00-7:00 PM at The Sylvee, 25 S. Livingston Street, Madison.
Announcement and comments from Mayor Soglin – 6:00 PM

Kiva Greater Madison officially launches on February 4, bringing crowdfunded microloans to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in Greater Madison. This initiative has been brought to Madison through a Coordinating Committee including the City of Madison, The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), Madison Gas and Electric, The Doyenne Group and Kiva.

Through Kiva Greater Madison, anyone can help grow small business and promote local job creation by visiting Kiva.org. To support Madison entrepreneurs, you may go to www.kiva.org  and sign up to become a lender. From there, simply search for borrowers in the Madison area under the Kiva U.S. tab on the website and support them with a loan as small as $25. Small business loans crowdfunded through Kiva Greater Madison are on average $5,000 and are offered at 0% interest with no fees. For borrowers who may be rejected by traditional lenders, Kiva provides opportunity.

“Creating opportunities for equitable capital for Madison entrepreneurs is of vital importance to the economic growth of our economy,” Madison Mayor Paul Soglin explains. “Kiva is a community partner that will work with entrepreneurs and the City to provide character based loans to our neighbors working to build strong businesses to serve the community.”

Crowdfunded loans fill a critical lending gap faced by entrepreneurs whose businesses are too young, too small or too innovative to receive loans from traditional lenders. Nationally, small businesses create two-thirds of all new jobs and if just one in three small businesses could hire one more person, the U.S. would be at full employment, according to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity.

“Many of the small business owners who come to Kiva have all the tools to succeed except one. They have a vision for success, a plan to achieve that success, and all they’re missing is capital,” said Sophia Zisook, Kiva’s Midwest Regional Manager. “These business owners can’t reach their goals without financial inclusion. When they see this community step up to support them, they know they are being given a vote of confidence. By lending on Kiva, you are doing more than providing capital, you are telling the small business owner ‘I believe in you.'”

Through their work with WWBIC, Kiva has already brought crowdfunded loans to entrepreneurs across the state. KIVA Milwaukee was launched in 2015 and in three years has lent $742,600.00 to entrepreneurs in Milwaukee and $1,224,900 to all of Wisconsin. Lenders to entrepreneurs in Wisconsin (over 15,000 now) are everyday people from nearly every state in the U.S. and an astounding 21 countries including Japan, UK, China, Ethiopia, and Rwanda.
Internationally, Kiva’s community of 1.8 million lenders have crowdfunded $1.25 billion in loans – $25 at a time – to more than 3.1 million entrepreneurs in 81 counties and 47 US states. The repayment rate is 97%.

Partners, Supporters and Trustees
Kiva Greater Madison is made possible by several area organizations joining the initiative as Sponsors and Trustees. Major sponsors in addition to the City of Madison include Madison Gas and Electric, WBD, Wells Fargo, The Evjue Foundation and State Bank of Cross Plains. Loan matching funds that support the KIVA loans in fundraising are still pending.

Kiva Trustees are organizations or institutions that publicly endorse entrepreneurs on the Kiva website who they know and trust in their community. Current Trustees in the State who have endorsed borrowers include: WWBIC, African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, Native American Chamber of Commerce and The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

To have your organization become a Kiva Trustee visit https://www.kiva.org/trustees/apply  .

About Kiva.org
Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Kiva celebrates and supports people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. With as little as a $25 loan, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy and realize their potential. For more information, visit www.kiva.org .

    For Further Information:

    Michael Miller