You can learn more about Kiva
Kiva, a crowdfunding mechanism that allows prospective small business owners to obtain zero interest loans of up to $10,000, was piloted in the United States in 2011 and was rolled out widely in 2015.
It has been active in Wisconsin for the past five years, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. are participants.
“Kiva looks past credit score,” said Wendy Baumann, executive director of WWBIC. “It looks at viability.”
Kiva.org reports that it has 3.4 million borrowers from 77 countries, and 81 percent of the borrowers are women.
More than $1.37 billion in loans have been funded through Kiva, and there is a 96.7 percent repayment rate.
Some borrowers say they get the money they need within hours of going onto the Kiva network.