Crowd-funding Microloan Program
WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new partnership between Capital One Bank, the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and Kiva, a global microlending organization, will provide small business owners in the D.C. region access to capital through Kiva's proven crowd-funded microloan program.
Sponsored by Capital One Bank, Kiva City D.C. is a new online portal that connects Washington, D.C.-area small businesses with Kiva's global network of 870,000-plus individual lenders, giving small business owners the opportunity to apply for additional funding to help start, sustain and grow their business. Through Kiva City D.C., anyone with an Internet connection and $25 can help to fund loans to small businesses in the area by visiting www.kiva.org/dc.
"This initiative gives everyone a chance to help make a difference in the life of D.C.'s economy," said Matt Flannery, Kiva's co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. "By lending as little as $25 to a small business owner of your choice on Kiva.org, you can help someone get their business up and running, expand operations, hire or retain employees, and improve the local economy. Kiva's partnership with Capital One and LEDC is making it possible for each of us to support local small business owners and hear their stories as they work to serve their communities."
To support lending to small businesses in the D.C. area, Capital One has committed to matching every dollar lent to small businesses posted by LEDC on Kiva City D.C. LEDC's Community Asset Fund for Entrepreneurs works to identify qualifying borrowers in the D.C. area, administers the loans and posts profiles of each small business owner online at kiva.org. Capital One's loan matching program will last throughout 2013 and is expected to reach a $150,000 commitment. In addition to the loan matching fund, Capital One has contributed $100,000 to support the launch of Kiva City D.C.
"We recognize the tremendous value that small businesses play in the local community and the impact they have on our local economy," said Jonathan W. Witter, President of Retail and Direct Bank, Capital One. "Capital One is proud to be a part of the launch of Kiva City D.C. We know that community support and capital are two key components of small business success and we believe that this is a unique opportunity for individuals – and the community – to connect with local entrepreneurs and provide them with the financial support and resources they need to grow and succeed."
Through Kiva's proven micro-funding business model, anyone can go to kiva.org and browse through profiles and stories of people in need of a microloan, and choose someone to lend as little as $25. Every dollar lent helps to crowd-fund that business' microloan, which in turn helps to support thriving local economies, communities and jobs. Loans funded through Kiva have a 99 percent repayment rate, so the money lent to a small business owner is truly a loan, not a donation.
Every dollar lent to a small business helps to create jobs in local communities, which in turn supports another local business, and then another. As small businesses grow and expand, local economies improve, helping to support schools, city services and more vibrant and sustainable communities.
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses create two out of three net new jobs in the U.S. and have created nearly 65 percent of the new jobs in the U.S. over the last 17 years and often employ the most vulnerable groups in the workforce.
"Capable entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds are often excluded from accessing business loans through the formal financial sector," said Manny Hidalgo, executive director of the Latino Economic Development Center. "LEDC is excited to be Kiva's lead partner in the D.C. area to identify strong borrowers to qualify for these small dollar loans that will make a big difference in the lives of their families and the health of their communities."
Kiva City D.C. joins Kiva Cities Los Angeles, Detroit and New Orleans and is part of a continued commitment to helping U.S. small businesses grow and create economic opportunity for individuals across the country.
Capital One's partnership with Kiva and LEDC is part of the company's larger commitment to support small businesses and economic development. In 2012, Capital One supported small businesses by providing $6.6 million in grants, loans and investments to 115 nonprofits involved in micro-enterprise development — and more than two-thirds of the businesses they serve are women and/or minority-owned businesses.
Kiva is a non-profit organization working to alleviate poverty by connecting people around the world through microlending. With as little as a $25 loan, anyone can help a borrower create new opportunities for themselves and their family. Together with more than 870,000 Kiva lenders and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva has created economic opportunity for more than 950,000 borrowers. Since its inception in 2005, Kiva lenders have funded more than $390 million in loans with a 98.9% repayment rate. Visit www.kiva.org for more information.
About Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with approximately 1,000 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Its subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities – good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families – benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives.
About Latino Economic Development Center
Working families deserve to live in affordable homes and own successful small businesses – but too many are unable to turn these dreams into a reality. The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) equips Latinos and other DC-area residents with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities. Participants in our programs learn how to buy and stay in their homes, take control of the decisions affecting their apartment buildings, and start or expand small businesses. Last month, LEDC launched the Community Asset Fund for Entrepreneurs to equip entrepreneurs in the DC-area with the capital to improve their lives and strengthen the small business community. To learn more, visit http://www.ledcmetro.org.
Jason Riggs, Kiva Communications Director, 415.871.7351, email@example.com
Ash Kosiewicz, LEDC Communications and Advocacy Director, 202.425.1303, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eva Pereira, RF|Binder, 781.559.0424, email@example.com
Alison Cahill Rouse, Capital One, 917.653.7592, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Capital One