Kiva NWA, a Fayetteville-based microlending platform facilitated by Startup Junkie and dedicated to providing financial access to entrepreneurs in Northwest Arkansas, recently reached a major milestone in providing its 100th loan.
By connecting borrowers with lenders, Kiva NWA also announced that it has been able to provide more than $800,000 in interest-free loans since its inception in late 2019, and its 100th loan marks a major accomplishment for Kiva NWA, demonstrating its commitment to creating economic opportunity in Northwest Arkansas.
“I am thrilled that the NWA Kiva hub has reached this milestone. I believe that getting to this point is a collective effort of so many different parties and organizations, starting with the support of the WFF and Startup Junkie, to every lender and business owner that has been a part of this growth,” said Claudia Scott, Kiva NWA Capital Access Manager. “I am looking forward to spearheading the hub’s initiatives and to seeing our growth continue.”
Kiva NWA is meant to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs who have historically been disadvantaged. Through a policy of prioritizing “character over credit,” the organization aims to fund opportunities for borrowers when conventional lenders cannot.
“After just a few short months of leading the hub, I’ve been able to see the life-changing impact these loans can make in our community, particularly on business owners that have been underserved in the past or don’t have other ways to access capital. Over 90% of our loans have been to women and/or minority-owned businesses, which speaks to our mission and purpose,” Scott added.
Kiva was originally established in Uganda in 2005 and has since expanded its commitment to aiding financially excluded and socially impacted entrepreneurs worldwide. Kiva’s expansion to the United States came in 2009, and two years later, they implemented the US Kiva Hubs program.
Kiva NWA, one of over 40 hubs located throughout the United States, is supported by grants from the Walton Family Foundation and is facilitated by the Startup Junkie Foundation. Startup Junkie received a $470,000 grant from the WFF to continue facilitating the Northwest Arkansas Kiva Hub in November of 2022 – funds that have allowed them to help support local businesses from cleaning services to florists to podcasts.
Through Kiva.org, borrowers and small businesses can crowdfund business loans ranging from $1000 – $15,000. Through the NWA Kiva Hub, Startup Junkie provides consulting and technical assistance to help with the online application process, increasing the likelihood that a loan is accepted.
Small business owners looking to receive a loan through NWA Kiva Hub can reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or 479.264.5856 with any questions or for no-cost assistance with the application process.
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