Kiva Zip is an online microlending program that uses the power of crowdfunding to raise money to support businesses that might otherwise have limited access to capital. It leverages the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular community. Kiva Zip launched as a pilot in November 2011, and entered its alpha phase in September 2012. Since then, it has distributed over $2,952,875 in loans.
In April 2014, Seed Capital KY became a Kiva Zip Trustee. As such, our responsibility is to endorse borrowers with whom we have a relationship to obtain loans on the platform. We are vouching for the borrower’s character and our belief that their project has social benefit. As a trustee, we also help promote the potential loan by engaging our communication outlets, like our website and social media channels.
It is amazing to watch the power of social media and relationship “marketing” in funding these loans. We’ve had lenders from all across the US, Canada, Europe, even as far away as Malaysia and Taiwan!
Seed Capital KY has endorsed the following loans:
Kathie Stoess and her team swiftly fundraised a loan of $5,000 to cover the costs of tables and chairs for Louisville’s first pay-what-you-can restaurant, The Table Cafe – a non-profit, social enterprise that serves locally grown, fresh food in a low-income neighborhood.
Chad Rosen of Hemp Foods America is currently fundraising for a $10,000 loan to help develop both the agricultural network and food marketing niche for hemp seed superfoods.
Adam Barr borrowed $8,000 to build a packing shed. His loan was fully funded in about 6 days!
Ben Abell’s $10,000 loan allowed him to purchase a custom-made multi-use harvester from experts in North Carolina. This specialty harvester is being made with his small-scale farm in mind, and will be flexibly designed for use with many root crops. Ben tells us he has had a lot of interest from area farmers wanting to share in its use!
Michelle and her husband, Nathan, received a $10,000 loan to bring value-added processing capacity to their operation and create shelf-stable foods that can be available when outside of the fresh produce season. The value-added processing also gives farmers a way to make use of seconds or otherwise un-sellable fruits and veggies from their fields, so they can harvest their entire crop and make use of all of it, resulting in higher income for the farmer.
Mike Lewis’ $10,000 loan will enable the buildout of infrastructure for a small scale dairy operation on his farm.
Millard Long’s $5,000 loan cinched the purchase of needed high-speed green bean snipping equipment, allowing for processing of more local product and sales to more local outlets such as schools.
Kimmye Bohannon’ $5,000 loan provided funds to finish outfitting the business’s “Juice on the Loose” retail truck, which will serve Louisville and markets further afield in Kentucky.