Last Friday, we were proud to stand beside President Bill Clinton, Kiva.org and Accion Texas for the launch of Kiva City Little Rock, an initiative that expands the availability of microloans for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Nearly 300 people from the Little Rock community joined us for the announcement at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center.
Visa’s partnership with Kiva to help U.S. small businesses began in 2010 and led, in part, to the announcement of the Kiva City initiative at the inaugural Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June 2011. The Kiva City program is focused on expanding Kiva’s efforts to bring the power of the “Internet Community” to more small business borrowers in cities across the U.S.
During the event, the enthusiasm about what this meant for the Little Rock community was palpable. While the loan amounts typically are small (often $5,000-$10,000), the potential impact can be big. I heard this directly from a number of the Kiva City Little Rock borrowers who were in attendance, including representatives from handmade jewelry, artisanal cheese and handmade baby clothing businesses. I look forward to hearing more about the future successes of these businesses.
Commenting on the significance of the announcement, President Clinton noted, “The genius of Kiva is that they took everything we had learned – the lessons of what worked and what doesn’t in microlending – and the promise of crowdfunding and putting it in to building a new economy brick by brick – or person by person, if you will. It’s an exhilarating thing. And I am happy to support it.”
If you would like to help fund a borrower’s dream in Little Rock, visit: www.kiva.org/littlerock
Watch a video of President Clinton introducing Kiva City:
Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on March 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm