Kiva, a non-profit micro-funding platform, has teamed up with Intuit, the software company behind Quicken, Quickooks and TurboTax, to provide small business owners with quick capital at the click of a button.
Having received a $50,000 donation from Intuit’s Financial Freedom Foundation, Kiva may now be able to fund up to 500 small businesses every month through the Kiva Zip peer to peer lending platform.
The current initiative is another great step towards elimination of financial barriers and it will without a doubt help improve the economic outcomes for small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to expand their business.
Those who don’t qualify for Intuit’s traditional loan programs are encouraged to create a profile on Kiva to raise funds for their business. The minimum borrowable amount through the Kiva Zip peer to peer lending platform is $5,000 and goes as high as $10,000.
Kiva, a veteran in the micro-lending business, launched the Kiva Zip peer to peer lending platform across the U.S. in 2014, partnering with corporate partners and city governments to crowdsource about $10 million in interest-free loans.
“We are excited about our partnership with Kiva Zip and to offer small businesses the critical capital they need to start and grow their businesses,” Jeffrey Kaufman, Intuit’s business leader of QuickBooks Financing explained in a TriplePundit post. “This platform serves a segment of small businesses who previously had no, or very limited opportunities to get the funding they needed. Additionally, the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation donation is one way Intuit is supporting small businesses across the nation to give them a chance to thrive.”
Kiva allows individuals to lend small loans, as low as $25, to entrepreneurs online. The organization lists all those in need, posts their pictures and tells their stories. Prospective lenders can then pick the entrepreneur that they wish to support; also quoting the amount they wish to lend them.
There are no intimidating interviews or credit check required. Instead, Kiva relies on “credit and character” and requires that borrowers start by inviting friends and family to launch fundraising efforts. Upon reaching a certain threshold, the business is then featured in Kiva’s online community where it can get additional funds. Business owners are given the opportunity to set up manageable payment terms. Once they finish repaying their loans, they can then apply for more.
As banks and other traditional financing institutions continue to restrict access to capital, sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Kiva will continue to provide small business owners with funding opportunities that are far more accommodating.
“We are thrilled by our partnership with Intuit and its foundation,” said Jonny Price, senior director of Kiva. “Kiva borrowers have an 89 percent repayment rate, which means that once the loans are repaid, we can recycle the foundation’s funding to match additional loans, further maximizing the impact we make for small businesses.”
This is not the first time that the two organizations are working together. Back in 2010, the two companies announced expansion of an effort to seed small business growth with an aggressive matching program.