The Women’s Business Center of Utah (WBCUtah) announced a partnership with kiva.org and will serve as host for “Kiva Salt Lake City,” the first Kiva Hub in Utah. Kiva U.S. is a nonprofit organization that facilitates crowd-funded microloans ranging from $1,000 - $10,000 for financially excluded business owners, mainly minorities and women, at 0% interest with no fees.
“No business survives without capital,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Access to funding is the highest priority of any successful enterprise and among the most difficult for start-ups and small businesses. As a statewide nonprofit service provider, the partnership between WBCUtah and Kiva will provide women and minority business owners access to capital that was previously unattainable. By further bolstering the small business community we can ensure our state’s long-term economic success.”
Since its beginning, Kiva’s community of 1.8 million lenders have empowered 3.4 million borrowers in 78 countries to secure $1.36 billion in loans. The repayment rate is 96.7%. Through Kiva Salt Lake City, WBCUtah will provide technical assistance to borrowers and small business owners, as well as integrate other technical assistance providers in the area.
“At the 2014 Senate Hearing on the 21st Century Barriers to Women's Entrepreneurship, many witnesses testified about the barriers to women entrepreneurs,” said Ann Marie Wallace, state director of the Women’s Business Center of Utah. “Of the top three barriers, access to capital was the highest. Our center has been involved in efforts to alleviate the other two: equal access to government contracts and receiving relevant business training and counseling. Through this new program, WBCUtah can be a part of addressing each of these concerns -- influencing, advocating for and helping improve access to capital for women in Utah.”
Loans through Kiva Salt Lake City will be available beginning November 4, 2019, and WBCUtah will host an official launch event for potential borrowers on December 5, 2019, at the Salt Lake Chamber, as well as a community information session soon thereafter.
Kiva Salt Lake City is made possible thanks in part to WBCUtah’s grant from Chase Bank.
For more information visit: wbcutah.org/kiva