The Michigan Corps has formed a partnership of local foundations to create Kiva Detroit, a program that enables local residents to improve their communities by making microloans to local businesses and entrepreneurs.
"The main opportunity we have with Kiva is scale," says Anuja Jaitly, co-founder and executive director of the Michigan Corps. "The resources we can leverage make it hard to reach a limit for making microloans."
Micro-lender ACCION USA, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and Kiva.org are working together to create the fund. Kiva Detroit will be able to lend as little as $25 to local, small businesses with loan impact doubled through a one-to-one match supported by $250,000 from the Knight Foundation.Kiva Detroit
is an off-shoot of San Francisco-based Kiva.org
, the world's first personal micro-lending website that empowers individuals to lend to entrepreneurs across the globe, with a goal of alleviating poverty. Since 2005, Kiva.org has facilitated more 590,000 loans worth more than $219 million to 567,000 entrepreneurs in 60 countries. So far five small businesses/entrepreneurs from across Metro Detroit have received loans, including a bicycle shop and fashion start-up.
Kiva Detroit is the first in a series of forthcoming Kiva City initiatives to connect Kiva's global network of micro-lenders with more U.S.-based small business owners. The Michigan Corps
, a social network of local and global Michiganders committed to change in the Great Lakes State, helped spearhead the partnership with the Knight Foundation's
capital and ACCION USA
"We see it as an opportunity to connect and engage Detroiters with local entrepreneurs," Jaitly says.Source: Anuja Jaitly, co-founder and executive director of the Michigan CorpsWriter: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com