San Diego Small Businesses Get a Boost through Crowd Funded Microloans
October 5, 2012
A new initiative launched in San Diego today that enables anyone with Internet access a chance to support small business owners, local economies and local jobs in the community. The initiative is a collaboration between two nonprofit organizations Accion San Diego, the largest local nonprofit micro lender since 1994 offering business loans from $300 to $35,000, and Kiva, the world’s first and largest micro-lending platform. Through utilizing the Kiva.org web platform, San Diegans will be able to support local businesses by making small loans to actual businesses.
Accion San Diego is Kiva’s first lending partner in San Diego and the organizations aim to fill the lending gap for small businesses through crowd-funding $500 to $5,000 loans. Lenders can visit www.kiva.org/sandiego and browse small business owners’ profiles and stories and choose those they want to support with a loan of $25 or more. Loans funded through Kiva have a 98 percent repayment rate, so the money you lend is truly a loan.
Small dollar loans, or “microloans,” are essential to small businesses for accelerating job growth and economic recovery in San Diego and across the nation. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses create two out of every three new jobs, employ over half of private sector employees and produce over half of the nonfarm GDP. However, microloans can be difficult to find because according to the SBA, the cost to banks of processing a $50,000 loan is nearly the same as processing a $1 million loan.
Accion will use their extensive networks to identify qualified small businesses in the San Diego area that would benefit from a loan and then post their profiles on Kiva.org. Small businesses interested in beginning the application process can visit www.accionsandiego.org.
Accion San Diego will be promoting the Kiva microlend-ing program and highlighting its first Kiva loan recipients at San Diego Entrepreneur Day this Saturday in downtown’s East Village from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Find Accion’s booth at the event to become a Kiva lender or learn more about how to apply for a loan.
“Our partnership with Kiva will allow us to further our mission of creating economic opportunity in the community,” said Elizabeth Schott, executive director of Accion San Diego.