Kiva Brings Life-Changing Loans to the U.S.

Meet Kiva.org's new American entrepreneurs and find out how you can make a loan.

June 10, 2009— -- If you want to make a difference in the U.S., giving a micro-loan might be one of the most effective methods.

Micro-loans are made from one individual to another, and the Web site Kiva.org is dedicated to facilitating those kinds of loans around the world. The nonprofit company, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, Calif., connects individual borrowers or "entrepreneurs" with lenders who make direct loans of as little as $25.

To date, more than half-a-million lenders from 185 countries have provided more than $75 million in loans, according to Kiva. Remarkably, the current rate of repayment of those loans is 98.35 percent.

Now Kiva is bringing its successful model to the U.S., where the economic downturn has led to a need for the same kind of funding Kiva has made possible across the globe.

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Jeremy: Emergency BBQ

Click Here to Lend to Jeremy at His Kiva Page

Amato Loma-Yindja: Village d'Afrique Day Care

Luis: Independent Bakery

Carl: CA Window Cleaning

Kiva has partnered with ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund to provide small business micro-loans in the United States. Please visit www.accionusa.org or www.opportunityfund.org for information on applying for a loan.

Continue Reading for More Entrepreneurs Seeking Loans!

Meet More Kiva Entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Amanda Keppert: Mandy's Korner

Erik Mantsch and Shane Allen: Just Awesome

Vika: Island You a Hand

Zonia: Zonia's Day Care

Silvia: Grandma's Family Day Care

Serena: Serene Fitness

Mark: Urban Digital

Massandjie: Beauty Salon

Alejandro: Jewelry Business

Segundo: Taxi Driver

Nancy: Taxi Driver

Jorge: Event Planning

Anibal: Painting and Tile Business

Hardyal: Recycling Business

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.

Jeremy: Emergency BBQ

Loan Request: $10,000

Jeremy is a former ambulance driver and a high-energy entrepreneur. He runs Emergency BBQ, a mobile catering company in San Carlos, Calif., that serves up barbecue favorites in a style Jeremy calls California Beer B-Que.

With this loan, Jeremy can expand his business beyond on-the-go catering trucks and open up a retail store in San Carlos. He will be able to cater a greater number of lunch and dinner events from his shop, as well as serve lunch to local workers in San Mateo. He will also be able to create full-time employment for his three seasonal employees.

Click Here to Lend to Jeremy at His Kiva Page

Amato Loma-Yindja: Village d'Afrique Day Care

Luis: Independent Bakery

Carl: CA Window Cleaning

Kiva has partnered with ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund to provide small business micro-loans in the United States. Please visit www.accionusa.org or www.opportunityfund.org for information on applying for a loan.

Continue Reading for More Entrepreneurs Seeking Loans!

Meet More Kiva Entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Amanda Keppert: Mandy's Korner

Erik Mantsch and Shane Allen: Just Awesome

Vika: Island You a Hand

Zonia: Zonia's Day Care

Silvia: Grandma's Family Day Care

Serena: Serene Fitness

Mark: Urban Digital

Massandjie: Beauty Salon

Alejandro: Jewelry Business

Segundo: Taxi Driver

Nancy: Taxi Driver

Jorge: Event Planning

Anibal: Painting and Tile Business

Hardyal: Recycling Business

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.

Loan Request: $6,000

Amato Loma-Yindja, a widowed mother of two, has always loved children and believes her mission in life is to help them. For more than 10 years she worked with disadvantaged children at various nonprofits before being laid off in 2003. She began fostering children and decided to take this effort one step further by opening a day-care in her home in Fremont, Calif. Loma-Yindja hopes to expand her business, but she needs funds to fully convert her home into a day-care with a larger capacity.

"I'm originally from Africa," she said. "I've been in the U.S. for 24 years. I've been a widow for 20 years. So I've raised my children by myself, and being a single parent and to see how hard it is, that's what really motivated me to become a day-care provider to help children."

Without these kinds of loans, she said, "It would be very, very hard to fulfill my dream. So they make it possible."

With a $6,000 loan, Loma-Yindja will be able to carpet her nap area, convert her garage into a playroom and buy art and educational supplies. Currently she has three children in her bilingual French and English day-care, but she hopes the loan will expand her capacity to care for more children.

"I'm very grateful, to begin with, for the opportunity that has been given to me," she said. "It's not just me, it's the children. That's where my heart is."

Click Here to Lend to Amato at Her Kiva Page

Luis: Independent Bakery

Carl: CA Window Cleaning

Kiva has partnered with ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund to provide small business micro-loans in the United States. Please visit www.accionusa.org or www.opportunityfund.org for information on applying for a loan.

Continue Reading for More Entrepreneurs Seeking Loans!

Meet More Kiva Entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Amanda Keppert: Mandy's Korner

Erik Mantsch and Shane Allen: Just Awesome

Vika: Island You a Hand

Zonia: Zonia's Day Care

Silvia: Grandma's Family Day Care

Serena: Serene Fitness

Mark: Urban Digital

Massandjie: Beauty Salon

Alejandro: Jewelry Business

Segundo: Taxi Driver

Nancy: Taxi Driver

Jorge: Event Planning

Anibal: Painting and Tile Business

Hardyal: Recycling Business

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.

Luis: Independent Bakery

Carl: CA Window Cleaning

Kiva has partnered with ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund to provide small business micro-loans in the United States. Please visit www.accionusa.org or www.opportunityfund.org for information on applying for a loan.

Continue Reading for More Entrepreneurs Seeking Loans!

Meet More Kiva Entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Amanda Keppert: Mandy's Korner

Erik Mantsch and Shane Allen: Just Awesome

Vika: Island You a Hand

Zonia: Zonia's Day Care

Silvia: Grandma's Family Day Care

Serena: Serene Fitness

Mark: Urban Digital

Massandjie: Beauty Salon

Alejandro: Jewelry Business

Segundo: Taxi Driver

Nancy: Taxi Driver

Jorge: Event Planning

Anibal: Painting and Tile Business

Hardyal: Recycling Business

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.

Loan Request: $5,000

Carl worked for 20 years in the trucking industry and washed windows on the side for extra money before deciding to start his own window washing business. Carl manages the business and washes the windows, often waking at 3 a.m. for early jobs while his wife helps out with bookkeeping. His business capacity has doubled in the last few years and could keep growing, but he needs to invest in advertising and hire a full-time employee to meet the high demand.

A $5,000 loan would help Carl advertise his business online and in real estate brochures, as well as prepare the business to hire a full-time employee.

Click Here to Lend to Carl at His Kiva Page

Kiva has partnered with ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund to provide small business micro-loans in the United States. Please visit www.accionusa.org or www.opportunityfund.org for information on applying for a loan.

Continue Reading for More Entrepreneurs Seeking Loans!

Meet More Kiva Entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Amanda Keppert: Mandy's Korner

Erik Mantsch and Shane Allen: Just Awesome

Vika: Island You a Hand

Zonia: Zonia's Day Care

Silvia: Grandma's Family Day Care

Serena: Serene Fitness

Mark: Urban Digital

Massandjie: Beauty Salon

Alejandro: Jewelry Business

Segundo: Taxi Driver

Nancy: Taxi Driver

Jorge: Event Planning

Anibal: Painting and Tile Business

Hardyal: Recycling Business

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.

"Mandy's Korner is a quick-turn food service selling specialty sausages, hotdogs and sandwiches," she explained. "There's homemade cooking here; it's made with love. It's just a place where people can come and relax and enjoy a great hotdog or a sandwich ... When you are cooking your food with love they can tell.

"To own a piece of real estate here, in this very busy commercial-zoned area, is the best thing I could have probably done with my money," she added.

Keppert's only employees are her teenage kids, who help her with cooking, cleaning, catering special events and even bookkeeping. This helps her save money while helping her children develop a strong work ethic, she said.

"How I treat my family I treat my customers, and they really love that," she said.

Keppert says a $6,500 loan will enable her to purchase an electric panel and an ice machine, which will save her both time and money. She also plans to invest in fliers and advertisements in local newspapers to boost business.

"When you borrow money and when you owe someone money, there's integrity and commitment involved," she said. "It's a commitment to grow a business."

Amanda's Loan Is Fully Funded

Erik Mantsch and Shane Allen: Just Awesome

Vika: Island You a Hand

Zonia: Zonia's Day Care

Silvia: Grandma's Family Day Care

Serena: Serene Fitness

Mark: Urban Digital

Massandjie: Beauty Salon

Alejandro: Jewelry Business

Segundo: Taxi Driver

Nancy: Taxi Driver

Jorge: Event Planning

Anibal: Painting and Tile Business

Hardyal: Recycling Business

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.

While serving in the Air Force, Mantsch learned a game from a young Iraqi that he developed into a board game, also called Just Awesome! He donates all of the proceeds from this game to Operation Iraqi Children. Just Awesome! will also pay to ship any board games to American troops serving overseas.

"The Kiva loan will really help to fine tune our rough edges and really be able to deliver outstanding customer satisfaction and have the games in stock that people are asking for," Mantsch said. "What's great about Kiva is that the individual can really help another individual or small business in their mission. What's great about the program on the Internet is you can reach out farther than you have before."

Allen and Mantsch will use their $7,500 loan for advertising and inventory and to make their business more environmentally-friendly.

"Part of this whole experience is just wonderful to share my story so that other entrepreneurs like myself would be able to fund their dream," Allen said.

Click Here to Lend to Shane and Erik at Their Kiva Page

Vika: Island You a Hand

Zonia: Zonia's Day Care

Silvia: Grandma's Family Day Care

Serena: Serene Fitness

Mark: Urban Digital

Massandjie: Beauty Salon

Alejandro: Jewelry Business

Segundo: Taxi Driver

Nancy: Taxi Driver

Jorge: Event Planning

Anibal: Painting and Tile Business

Hardyal: Recycling Business

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.

Zonia: Zonia's Day Care

Loan Request: $10,000

Zonia provides high-quality child care and offers it to some of her community's most vulnerable residents: families experiencing homelessness. While some providers think these children and families are too difficult to support, Zonia embraces the opportunity to work with families going through a difficult time.

The 14 children in her care are a diverse group -- ranging from children experiencing homelessness to the children of international embassy staff -- and the waiting list for her day-care shows that parents value the services. Zonia has an associate teacher's permit, and her San Francisco business has created two full-time jobs.

With this $10,000 loan, Zonia will make needed repairs to her home so that it complies properly with city codes and meets the standards required to hold a child care provider license.

Click Here to Lend to Zonia at Her Kiva Page

Silvia: Grandma's Family Day Care

Serena: Serene Fitness

Mark: Urban Digital

Massandjie: Beauty Salon

Alejandro: Jewelry Business

Segundo: Taxi Driver

Nancy: Taxi Driver

Jorge: Event Planning

Anibal: Painting and Tile Business

Hardyal: Recycling Business

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.

Loan Request: $5,000

Serena, a single mother with a teenage son, is a dynamic fitness instructor and personal trainer at the Heptagon Gym in Mountain View, Calif. She has taught aerobics and yoga classes for several years, and she started personal training two years ago while studying biology at San Jose State University. Now she wants to complete additional training so she can offer more services to her clients.

With a $5,000 loan, Serena can complete a higher level certification in sports fitness, which will allow her to serve her clients better and help them reach their personal fitness goals.

Click Here to Lend to Serena at Her Kiva Page

Mark: Urban Digital

Massandjie: Beauty Salon

Alejandro: Jewelry Business

Segundo: Taxi Driver

Nancy: Taxi Driver

Jorge: Event Planning

Anibal: Painting and Tile Business

Hardyal: Recycling Business

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.

She was successful with a small loan through ACCION USA to build her credit, and she's now using a new loan to purchase more inventory. She hopes to expand her business and would even like to open a second location.

Click Here to Lend to Massandjie at Her Kiva Page

Alejandro: Jewelry Business

Segundo: Taxi Driver

Nancy: Taxi Driver

Jorge: Event Planning

Anibal: Painting and Tile Business

Hardyal: Recycling Business

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.

Micro-loans would help her to drive her own car rather than renting one. Nancy is a single mother of two daughters.

Nancy's Loan Has Been Fully Funded

Jorge: Event Planning

Anibal: Painting and Tile Business

Hardyal: Recycling Business

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.

Click Here to Lend to Hardyal at His Kiva Page

Trinidad: Home Day-Care Center

Elizabeth: Beauty Salon

ACCION USA and the Opportunity Fund provided information for the entrepreneur profiles.