Higher Purpose Co. has been awarded $175,000 in grant support from the Walton Family Foundation to support the establishment of the first Kiva Hub in Mississippi to expand affordable capital for underestimated entrepreneurs in Coahoma and surrounding counties.
Kiva is an international nonprofit based in San Francisco, California. The nonprofit started as a pioneer in crowdlending in 2005 and is constantly innovating to offer no-interest capital to financially excluded small businesses through the support of their communities.
Borrowers can access up to $10,000 with 0% interest and no fees. In addition, the process requires no credit score, collateral, or U.S. citizenship documentation. The Kiva US Hub product allows an organization to launch its own micro-loan product to support small businesses without any capital injection.
Through Kiva Mississippi Delta Hub, community members can sign up to lend money to local entrepreneurs. Individual contributions can be as little as $25. For those in Coahoma County, the Kiva-approved loan will be eligible for Walton Family Foundation matching loan funds as well. The foundation has provided $50,000 in matching funds to Kiva.
The Kiva Hub will also complement HPC’s existing Higher Purpose Business Fellowship which is also being supported by the Walton Family Foundation. HPC’s business fellowship is a six-month program anchored by culturally relevant curriculum, business growth support, and funding network which now includes Kiva as one of the capital providers.
The Kiva Hub concept helps to educate potential entrepreneurs, provide reputable local support, continual assistance, and consulting to the applicants throughout their campaigns to raise Kiva funds. Kiva celebrates and supports people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
Kiva Regional Manager for West and South Central United States, Sarah Adeel said, “I believe that this is a win-win model and a great precedent for other cities to follow, where a local organization works with Kiva and is funded by a local foundation.
It is the most innovative way for cities to offer financial inclusion to their small businesses, especially those rejected by other financial institutions, with the help of their own communities.
This will help scale the impact through multiple stakeholders focused on solving a problem together, as well as building a strong local lending community.”
Higher Purpose Capital Access Coordinator Constance Brown will provide one-on-one technical assistance to potential Kiva borrowers that choose to launch a campaign to help them set up their online profiles for maximum marketing appeal based upon Kiva suggested strategies. Brown said she is excited to learn of HPC’s partnership with Kiva and to receive the training she needs to make the program a success.
“We are very confident that Kiva will help us utilize the power of community wealth to help underserved communities thrive. Higher Purpose and Kiva will work in conjunction to disrupt that wealth gap that underserved entrepreneurs tend to experience through the support of helping them to secure more capital and encouraging ownership of both cultural and political power,” said Brown.
Being that HPC is the first organization in Mississippi to use the Kiva platform, the concept of the Kiva Hub is to ensure that many low-to-moderate income (LMI) entrepreneurs are educated about the crowdfunding concept to ensure it is not confused with predatory lenders or less reputable crowdfunding sites.
Brown added, “Kiva will provide entrepreneurs with a more personalized lending experience by including personal stories of each person who is seeking this form of funding to help potential lenders connect with them on a more human level. This is an aspect that is generally overlooked in the more traditional lending processes.”
More information about the Kiva Hub and how residents can apply is coming soon. A launch event will be held to engage residents of the Mississippi Delta. To stay updated about Kiva Hub and other programs visit www.higherpurposeco.org.