Kiva Zip

Kiva Zip provides 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs through crowd funding
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Kiva Zip is a website that enables financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs to access 0% interest small business loans.  The loans are crowd funded by hundreds of lenders from around the world that read the the borrowers story, and lend as little as $5.  Lenders and borrowers can communicate directly on the Kiva Zip platform, and lenders become potential customers, business advisors, and brand ambassadors to the borrower's business. 

The Kiva Zip model also includes Trustees, who partner with Kiva Zip to recommend small business owners to the program.  We have over 500 trustees in the U.S. who work with financially excluded and socially impactful entrepeneurs.  Our Trustees vouch for an entrepeneur's character and business in order for them to qualify for the Kiva Zip program, but do not hold any financial obligation.  Whether it's a grocery store, startup incubator, church, or student group - Kiva Zip empowers people to fuel their communities with capital raised on our platform. 



Sustainability Achievements: 
Kiva Zip supports sustainable business practices by providing 0% interest loans, and repayment grace periods to start-up and agricultural businesses. In the sustainable agriculture sector, start-up costs are often high and traditional financial institutions unwilling to invest. Kiva Zip provides farmers with loans up to $10,000, interest free. In addition, supporting small-scale businesses invigorates local economies, and helps to keep money in the community. By allowing lenders and borrowers to converse directly, we help to strengthen community bonds and build relationships among users. Lenders frequently turn into customers, supporters, and brand ambassadors for the businesses they support.
Sustainability Challenges: 
In maintaining our interest-free loans, Kiva Zip is unable to provide in-house business advising to the entrepreneurs who use our platform. Instead, we rely on the Trustee to provide business support and counseling. In addition, as a pilot program on, the Kiva Zip model is still being refined. We hope to create a sustainable and scalable model to apply moving forward, but are still in the testing phase of our program.
Contact Information
Justin Renfro
San Francisco