Since the Kiva Pittsburgh initiative launched, over $2 million in interest-free Kiva micro-loans have supported businesses in the Pittsburgh region. These loans went to businesses that may not have otherwise had access to capital to launch or grow, many of which were new businesses and/or owned by individuals from disadvantaged groups (63% women & 62% minorities). Riverside Center for Innovation is proud to work with Kiva to bring dollars to the Pittsburgh economy and investment to these local businesses, and we look forward to the next million!
Click through the slides to discover the Kiva stories of six entrepreneurs whose first loans helped us to reach the $2 million mark and crowdfunded a second loan in the last month, kicking off our journey to the next million!
Riverside Center for Innovation (RCI) partners with Kiva to host the Kiva Pittsburgh regional hub. Through this partnership, we have helped 339 businesses to collectively raise $2 million in interest-free micro-loans through Kiva. Capital for these loans was contributed by over 26,000 Kiva lenders from Pittsburgh and around the world. To mark the occasion, we are launching the first Kiva lending team focused on supporting Pittsburgh businesses. During this difficult time, it is more important than ever to support local businesses and Kiva enables everyone to help by lending as little as $25 to collectively fund interest-free loans.
“In Pittsburgh, we love our local businesses, and RCI knows that Pittsburghers want to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. That’s why we’ve created the “Lend Local Pittsburgh” Kiva lending team. Anyone can sign up to be a lender, join the team, and then be notified each time a local business is seeking a Kiva loan.”
Juan Garrett, Executive Director, RCI
Kiva’s lending team feature allows members to communicate and tracks their collective lending impact. Individuals can create a lender account at www.kiva.org/login and then join the team at www.kiva.org/team/lend_local_pittsburgh.
In honor of funding $2 million in loans in 2022, this month we’ll be highlighting entrepreneurs who are crowdfunding their 2nd Kiva loans. Business owners such as Jennifer Blanton, owner of JB Professional Cleaning, who received her first Kiva loan in December 2019.
“I began my business with the very basics: a vacuum, broom, mop… but Kiva opened up the door for me to get everything I needed to be able to work at a higher level for my clients. Because of Kiva, I was able to get my first substantial contract.”
~Jennifer, JB Cleaning Service
After repaying her first Kiva loan, Jennifer is now crowdfunding her second! View her crowdfunding campaign and those of other local businesses at bit.ly/kiva-pgh-crowdfunding.
To show their support, Bridgeway Capital, a long-time Kiva Pittsburgh partner and fellow mission-driven lender, is extending free business assistance to 22 Kiva loan recipients through the Kiva + Bridgeway Small Business Boost. Participating entrepreneurs will receive technical assistance through Bridgeway’s Entrepreneurship Hub and Sustainible, a new innovative tech platform that provides automated customized evaluations and suggestions to increase the rate of success of a small business.
In addition to Bridgeway Capital’s support, the Allegheny County Economic Development department, the City of Pittsburgh’s Invest PGH, Neighborhood Allies, and H2R CPA have sponsored this month’s kick-off to the next $2 million in Kiva loans.
Get Involved With Kiva Pittsburgh!
Info session for business owners interested in borrowing via Kiva: bit.ly/Kiva-Pgh-Info-Session
Join the “Lend Local Pittsburgh” Kiva lending team: www.kiva.org/team/lend_local_pittsburgh
Find Pittsburgh businesses on Kiva: bit.ly/kiva-pgh-crowdfunding
Prior Kiva borrowers, learn more about the Kiva + Bridgeway Small Business Boost: kivapgh.org/smallbusinessboost
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