Kiva announced the launch of Kiva City Louisville on November 24, 2014. Access Ventures was one of the many strategic partners in launching Louisville as the 9th Kiva City in America.
Kiva is an initiative that brings crowd funded microloans to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Louisville area.
The launch began with a special Open Coffee event at The Park with guest speaker Premal Shah. The CEO of Kiva shared stories of impact from people whose benefited from the Kiva program and the vision for the future. It was an opportunity for business leaders and the community to interact and build a better tomorrow.
Later in the morning, Honest Home hosted an official press release for Mayor Greg Fischer’s Office of Civic Innovation’s announcement of launching Kiva City Louisville to fuel local economic growth through entrepreneurship. This partnership between City of Louisville and Kiva aims to accelerate small businesses development in Louisville through crowdfunded zero percent interests loans.
Through the support of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s Office of Civic Innovation the initiative is intended to increase financing for and bring awareness to the importance of small businesses.
Mayor Greg Fischer states, “There are many passionate and driven individuals with a vision to create a powerful business that gives back to the Louisville community. Some of these are individuals who need a little bit of money to get something going, that’s where Kiva comes in. Kiva not only strengthens and grows Louisville’s economy, it also empowers and brings the community closer.”
Premal Shah, Kiva’s co-founder and President, shares:
“At its core, Kiva is about community. A community of lenders and small businesses that are a vehicle for economic opportunity. The Louisville businesses that we celebrate today are those that are giving back to their communities, creating local jobs, and building a cycle of growth. Behind each of these businesses are dozens of individuals who–as lenders on Kiva–exemplify that spirit of community. Together they are transforming the neighborhoods of Louisville.”
Kiva City Louisville, through the Kiva platform, has already brought crowdfunded loans to 16 entrepreneurs in the Louisville region that helped start or expand their businesses. More than 3,000 individuals in more than 10 countries have provided a loan to these entrepreneurs.
Kiva City Louisville is made possible by several local organizations. Partners include Access Ventures, Stock Yards Bank & Trust, The Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, James Graham Brown Foundation, and Metro United Way. Loan matching funds are provided by Stock Yards Bank & Trust, Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, and Louisville Downtown Rotary.
Later in the evening, the Louisville community gathered to celebrate this huge accomplishment and new beginning for supporting local business. The party featured local businesses, music, and food as we celebrated our cities diverse culture.
Over 200 people attended the event to mark the launch of the newest Kiva City. Borrowers, trustees, lenders, Kiva staff, friends of Kiva, and the mayor were all in attendance. Several organizations helped to sponsor the the launch of our city, and to create a pool of matching funds for local borrowers which became live on that day. Media coverage of the various events resulted in the rapid funding of live loans, and a wave of new applications. The celebration also marked the launch of a Louisville specific Kiva website featuring local borrowers.
We are honored to have been a part of bringing Kiva to Louisville. We believe in leveraging this tool for small businesses will help support and benefit all people in Louisville.