Kiva Pittsburgh is excited to announce that they have disbursed $1 million in Kiva micro-loans. Each loan is crowdfunded by hundreds of lenders from the business owner’s own community and around the world via Kiva.org. Within the Pittsburgh region, 199 individual loans totaling $1,029,125 have been dispensed; 11,955 unique individuals contributed, and the average loan size was $5,171. Kiva’s loans are offered at 0% interest and are not based on traditional financial criteria; instead, the character and potential of the business owner are evaluated.
Carrie Nardini became a Kiva Trustee to help entrepreneurs she works with through her businesses, I Made It! Market and Neighborhood Flea, which hold pop-up markets around the region, to take the next step in their growth. Carrie Nardini believes that:
"Kiva is truly a unique and powerful resource for the Pittsburgh region. I hope that every day, more and more folks will head to Kiva’s website and lend to Pittsburgh businesses. It's easy to do and the impact is staggeringly positive. Very often, the one barrier preventing individuals from taking the leap to expand their business is affordable funding. Kiva creates that connection.”
52% of loans went to minority business owners and 61% of loans went to female business owners. Past recipients of Kiva Pittsburgh loans include Arnold’s Tea in East Allegheny, Olive & Marlowe in East Liberty, Power 59 Construction LLC in the Hill District, Steel City Movers in Wilkinsburg, and La Palapa Mexican Gourmet Kitchen and Carmi Soul Food in the South Side—among dozens of other businesses. Former loan recipient Brandy Horchak-Jevsjukova from Warriors Call Boxing states:
"I would not have been able to bring my ideas to life without the support and access to financial capital I received through the Kiva program. Our business caters to local disabled veterans and first responders, and they now have a place to train, heal, and transition. We are lucky to have a Kiva initiative in Pittsburgh and I am excited to see more entrepreneurial veterans like me take advantage of it.”
Kiva Pittsburgh Program Director Emily Keebler hopes that this $1 million announcement will help to spread the word and educate interested small business owners who have heard about micro-loans but might not know of all the advantages. She hopes to inspire business owners to apply for a loan through Kiva’s website. In addition to online resources, Kiva Pittsburgh staff are available to guide applicants through the process and provide direction on how to create a strong campaign.
To celebrate the funding of over $1 million in Kiva micro-loans in the Pittsburgh area, Kiva Pittsburgh will host a party on Wednesday, February 28 from 6-8 p.m. at the Energy Innovation Center. Remarks will be made from Kiva loan recipients, Kiva Pittsburgh founder Evan Segal, Mayor Bill Peduto, and Jessica Hansen, Global Engagement Manager with Kiva. For details and to RSVP, visit Eventbrite.
Kiva Pittsburgh is an initiative of Urban Innovation21, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization, and Kiva.org. Kiva (Kiva.org) is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good. A nonprofit organization, Kiva aims to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty and expand economic opportunity. Since 2005, Kiva and its growing global community of 1.7 million lenders have crowdfunded more than $1.11 billion in microloans to over 2.7 million entrepreneurs in 85 countries, with a 97% repayment rate.
Contact: Emily Keebler, Urban Innovation21, Kiva Pittsburgh Program Director
Telephone: 412-281-0102 x6