Kiva City in your city
July 14, 2011 § Leave a comment
Last week, international microlending powerhouse Kiva announced an initiative to expand their alternative finance products to American small businesses. The project is called Kiva City, with the first targeted city being Detroit and the expectation of adding four cities including Columbus over the next two years.
I know what you might be thinking – aren’t there already microlenders serving Columbus? Well, the answer is yes but Kiva in some ways does offer a different product. Here’s an at a glance look at how I expect their programs to be different from ours.
Kiva City/ACCION: quick, personal credit score driven, one time injection of capital
ECDI: holistic, grass roots, technical assistance over the life of the loan
With Kiva City, it’s my belief that you may get a quicker turnaround from application to capital acquisition. However, if your personal credit score isn’t at the right tier, you may not be able to access the capital you need to grow your business with ACCION. Also, most microlenders cannot consider projections when vetting you for a loan. They have to look at this slice of time in your business, not how your business could grow and develop.
Again, there is not much information available about how the Kiva City program will work and these are estimates based on how ACCION currently manages loan disbursement. Overall, I think that the more small businesses that can access capital, the better.
So, Kiva City, come check out the 614 area code. There’s a lot of work to be done here in the capital city, let’s get busy.