Announcing a New Opportunity to Nominate, Lend to and Champion Detroit Entrepreneurs
Today, we're excited to announce the launch of Kiva Zip in Detroit, an exciting new opportunity for Detroiters to nominate and lend directly to local entrepreneurs building a vibrant Detroit! Kiva Zip, a new program of Kiva.org which recently moved from pilot to "alpha" phase, leverages innovations in technology to enable any citizen to nominate a local entrepreneur for community support and contribute directly to a crowd-funded, interest-free loan through PayPal. As part of the unique peer-to-peer Kiva Zip platform, citizen lenders and entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to interact directly via an online forum that facilitates the exchange of ideas related to an entrepreneur's progress.
When we launched Kiva Detroit in July 2011, we broke ground as the first Kiva City in the U.S. Since then, we have mobilized hundreds of citizens to support dozens of community-oriented entrepreneurs across Detroit - from home-based, lifestyle businesses to placemaking retail businesses. To date, these citizens and entrepreneurs have worked with Kiva's lending partner, ACCION, to complete an approval process for funding, while the community has collectively funded the loan request at kiva.org/detroit. Today, with the addition of Kiva Zip, Kiva Detroit takes another step forward in empowering any and all citizens and institutions to own the process of nominating and pursuing character-based lending to entrepreneurs who have unique credibility, needs, and potential for social impact.
As we build out the country's first modern, statewide, online service platform, we at Michigan Corps are excited to grow our partnership with Kiva.org in this new way.
"The Michigan Corps community is uncovering emerging and long-standing entrepreneurs for whom a loan through Kiva.org can have an extraordinarily positive impact on both the individual entrepreneur and community at large," said Premal Shah, President of Kiva. "We are thrilled to have Detroit embrace Kiva Zip and for Michigan Corps to lead the way in building a community of engaged citizens who rally around our platform to meet an entrepreneur's needs."
With the addition of Kiva Zip, Detroit entrepreneurs now have an opportunity to access zero-interest funding up to $5,000 based on the community's belief in their business concept and personal character. Through its partnership with ACCION, Kiva Detroit will continue to allow citizens to nominate entrepreneurs seeking additional levels of funding up to $50,000.
Happy Nominating, Lending and Championing!
-Elizabeth Garlow, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Michigan Corps