New Loan Program Focuses on Entrepreneurs

An international crowd-funding project is coming home to help American entrepreneurs who lack access to capital. The service could help fill a niche for rural entrepreneurs.


Salt and Savour, his sauerkraut business in Dunsmuir, California, said that while he considered crowdfunding, it didn’t make sense for him as a brand-new business owner.  “Part of the problem is that you pay those back with product or t-shirts or things,” he explains, “I don’t have all kinds of promo pieces like t-shirts. This seemed like the easiest and quickest and most promising way to secure the funds I needed.”

Kiva Zip connects new-business owners to a global community of lenders. While projects on sites like Kickstarter are primarily funded by people within an entrepreneur’s own network, Justin Renfro estimates that only 20% of lenders in a typical Kiva Zip loan come from people known to the borrower.