We are so excited to announce that Click Workspace has recently become a Trustee organization of Kiva Zip.
Kiva Zip is a program of Kiva.org, an international lending organization for individuals and small businesses. Kiva Zip makes micro-finance loans for small businesses in the US and Kenya that contribute in a meaningful way to the social good. Borrowers can request 0% interest loans of up to $5000 to grow their businesses and funding comes from individuals near and far through an online giving platform.
Kiva Zip is a great fit for Click Workspace. As a coworking organization hosting many small businesses in our space, and as a dynamic member of the Northampton community, we see building networks and opportunities to invest in each other’s success as a key role that we can fill. Reducing the cost of capital and expanding financial opportunities can help to bring short-term success while building lasting community connections can ensure growth and success in the long term
Many business owners recognize that a small amount of money will provide just the support they need (for example, for a new piece of equipment or up front costs of materials), but because they are in a high-risk category they might not qualify for a bank loan. This could be because they are new business owners, haven’t borrowed before, don’t have capital to draw upon, or are entrepreneurs who haven’t established a strong record of growth. Kiva Zip uses different metrics than the bank, relying on human capital as a measure of creditworthiness. In the first round of lending, borrowers are asked to invite family and friends to start their fundraising. After the designated number of friends have signed on then, "the Kiva Zip community takes care of the rest.”
Kiva notes that lenders give for many reasons. Some appreciate helping others and empowering entrepreneurs. Others want to invest in their neighborhoods. Lenders are customers, neighbors, advisors, and ambassadors for the small businesses they support. Kiva Zip lenders can give as little as $25 and once the loan is paid back can reinvest the funds if they choose.
Click’s role as a Kiva Zip Trustee will be to endorse borrowers and boost their capacity for outreach to the community through our own networks of potential lenders. Our Kiva advisory team will meet borrowers and review loans to determine if they are a good fit with our mission. Then we’ll help to promote an approved loan through our social media and colleague organizations. Ultimately, we hope to build a fund to help finance loans as well. Starting this summer we will take on two or three loans and as the program becomes successful, hope to endorse even more.
We are currently looking for our first endorsement opportunities and invite you to share this information with anyone who may be interested in learning more about borrowing through Kiva Zip and Click.