Visa partners with many organizations, companies and governments as part of our shared goal of reaching full financial inclusion globally by 2020. One of those organizations is Kiva.org, a nonprofit working to alleviate poverty by connecting people around the world through microlending. In 2010, we announced a partnership with Kiva to help more U.S. small businesses tap into microfinance, in part through launching Kiva City in areas of the country where small business is struggling in the economic recovery. Today, we invited Kiva President Premal Shah to share the news of the launch of the latest Kiva City, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Guest post by Premal Shah, President, Kiva.org
Today, I look forward to standing alongside President Clinton, Visa and Accion Texas to announce the launch of Kiva City Little Rock, an initiative to help more small business owners in Arkansas get access to the financial tools they need to create jobs and a better life for themselves and their communities. As we enter the third year of the partnership between Kiva and Visa, I am thrilled to announce that this is the fourth Kiva City we’ve launched together as a part of our CGI Commitment to Action. Kiva City Little Rock joins initiatives already underway in Detroit, Los Angeles and New Orleans.
In the words of President Clinton, “Successful small business owners in Little Rock and across the country have the power to accelerate job growth and economic opportunity for all of us. They have the plan and the passion; and this Commitment to Action will provide the much-needed capital to start or expand.”
Kiva City Little Rock provides access to capital for small business owners and budding entrepreneurs by crowdfunding loans on kiva.org/littlerock – often $25 at a time – that add up to job creation and economic growth.
The initiative is a collaboration between Kiva, Visa, Accion Texas, and nonprofit organizations in Little Rock working as Kiva Zip Trustees. Accion Texas works to identify small businesses in the Little Rock area that would benefit from a loan and then posts their profiles on Kiva.org for crowdsourced funding opportunities. The real power of Kiva City comes from local people with local solutions for growing new businesses.
In the Little Rock region, there are more than 69,000 small businesses that employ nearly 330,000 people. Through Kiva City, anyone with an Internet connection has a chance to help support local small businesses. Every dollar lent helps create jobs in the community, in turn supporting another local business, and then another. As small businesses grow and expand, local economies start to improve, then take off.
Both Kiva and Visa share the belief that small businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them are the engines of economic prosperity – and that’s what makes our partnership so effective.
For more information on Kiva City Little Rock or to lend to a small business owner, visit Kiva.org/littlerock
Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on March 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm