Fractured Atlas
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This is an archived post from our old blog. It's here for the sake of posterity (and to keep the search engines happy). Our new blog can be found at http://blog.fracturedatlas.org.

Extending Financial Capital to Artists in the US with Kiva Zip

This guest blog post is from Justin Renfro from Kiva Zip.  Please contact Justin at Justin@volunteers.kiva.org with any questions.

You might have heard about Kiva before. The global non-profit based in San Francisco connects lenders from around the world with entrepreneurs who can benefit from a small loan to start or grow their business. They’ve funded over one million entrepreneurs and administered over $375 million in loans since 2005. With a strong presence in over 60 countries, they’ve helped entrepreneurs access funding and create economic opportunity for themselves.

Kiva Zip is a new development from Kiva, which aims to extend access to capital for entrepreneurs in the United States. They are offering 0% interest loans up to $5,000, which are crowd funded by individual lenders from around the world. Since they launched at the beginning of this year they’ve funded over 80 entrepreneurs across the country, with businesses ranging from hot dog vendors to yoga instructors. A number of independent artists have successfully fundraised on Kiva Zip over the year and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Artists are in a unique position to benefit from the program because many struggle to find traditional sources of financing (e.g. from banks or credit unions). Having the ability to access a small amount of capital at 0% interest has been a huge benefit to the artists that have successfully fundraised on the website. What’s even more powerful are the connections and community that borrowers experience through crowd funding.

The community that is manifested on Kiva Zip creates a unique channel for people to connect in meaningful ways. Every entrepreneur on Kiva Zip is connected with dozens of individual lenders who can be brand ambassadors and potential customers for their business. The connective tissue that is created through these interactions can open doors and create new opportunities for these entrepreneurs. With thousands of lenders, you’re able to expose yourself in a unique and powerful way.

To learn more about Kiva Zip, you can check out their website. If you’d like to learn more about the program and become a borrower, you can do so here.