A very easy way to support Black businesses, both in the United States and around the world is through the nonprofit KIVA. Founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, KIVA provides small or micro loan of $25 (or more if you choose) to approved applicants looking to start new venture, or grow an existing business. These loans are empowering, making a difference in people’s lives.
Kiva’s mission is focused on expanding financial access for underserved people around the world. Since its inception, Kiva’s global community of 1.7 million lenders has crowdfunded more than $1.2 billion in microloans to 3 million borrowers in more than 80 countries.
I have been a KIVA member for 10 ten years. My goal has been to focus on providing loans primarily to women of color here in the United States, who are too often denied loans or experience discrimination from traditional financial institutions. I have made 60 loans thus far, lending $2,000. It has been well-worth the investment. Almost all the loans have been repaid. Lenders can choose from 80 countries, that has simply been my personal preference.
During Black History Month, KIVA is highlighting Black-owned businesses. For part of February, KIVA is matching loans made to Black-owned businesses. I chose three businesses owned by Black women, ranging from skincare for those with skin conditions and sensitive skin, an eco-friendly wedding planning service, and increased marketing for a restaurant.
Learn about KIVA business success stories as Kiki Bryant of Chicago, creator the children’s book series, Lollipop Lola and the Power of Yet, available on Amazon in April 2020.
You can change an entrepreneur’s life with as little as $25, build their business, and help make our world a better place.