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Free Help with Kiva Small Business Loans

The Northland Foundation has partnered with Kiva, a non-profit and a leader in micro-loans, to help small businesses in our region to grow. Kiva uses an online crowd-funding platform that encourages lenders around the world to lend to our local borrowers.

Kiva loan amounts range from $1,000 - $15,000 at 0% interest with a repayment term of up to 3 years (36 months). Loan agreements and repayment terms are managed directly by Kiva. This one-page flyer gives a detailed overview of the process.

Learn More about Kiva and Our Process

As a Kiva Trustee, we can help applicants figure out if Kiva is a good option, prepare a business plan to apply to Kiva, and vouch for their business when they launch their loan on Kiva’s web platform. Kiva itself is open to all entrepreneurs.

Who Is Eligible

For Kiva to consider your application:

  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old.
  • Business must be verifiable by providing any one of the following official government documents:

    • Incorporation documents
    • Certificate of Good Standing (State of Minnesota)
    • Doing Business As, or Fictitious Business Name, or Assumed Business Name
    • Business tax returns
    • Tax IDs/EINs
    • Permit
  • Must not currently be in foreclosure, bankruptcy, or under any liens
  • Must not have a violent or financial criminal conviction within the last 5 years.
  • Cannot use loan for refinancing debt or purchasing stock/equity.
  • Must have a PayPal account set up.
  • Kiva prohibits certain businesses from their lending program. Examples include:

    • Federally illegal activities (e.g. gambling, hemp-related products)
    • Businesses related to tobacco, pawn shops, weapons, multi-level marketing, direct selling, cryptocurrencies, drones, or adult entertainment.

Is Kiva a Good Fit?

The Northland Foundation and Northland SBDC are happy to help you apply for your Kiva loan and promote your crowdfunding campaign, but receiving a Kiva loan takes work. Your success in fundraising to access Kiva’s 0% loans depends a lot on you!

It might be a good fit if you are an entrepreneur who is:

  • Eager to grow or expand your business,
  • Active on social media, and
  • Enthusiastic about involving your community in your business growth..

Learn more:

How It Works

1. Connect

Our staff will talk with you about your business and connect you with the Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC). By working with the SBDC, you’ll receive FREE one-on-one consulting to work through creating your public Kiva profile and submitting the loan application using Northland’s endorsement link..

2. Apply

After working with your SBDC consultant to submit your application on Kiva’s website, Kiva will review it and contact you directly if they have any questions. The loan amount that you are ultimately approved for is determined by Kiva's team.

Northland Foundation supports your application by endorsing you on Kiva. As a Trustee, we vouch for the character and credibility of small business owners who we endorse. Borrowers endorsed by a Kiva Trustee typically receive more views and support from the global network of lenders.

3. Fundraise

Once Kiva approves your application, you’ll begin the Private Fundraising Period (PFP). This 15-day period requires you to find a minimum number of people to lend $25 each to your business. The number of lenders required depends on the size of your loan request and is determined by Kiva. It is usually 25 people or less.

As soon as you have completed the PFP, your loan goes live on the Kiva website, and is public for anyone to lend any amount to support your business!

It is important to understand that this is an all-or-nothing campaign. During the public crowdfunding phase, you have 30 days to raise the remainder of the loan request. If you are unable to raise the full amount, Kiva will not award the loan.

4. Award

The loan will be deposited by Kiva in your PayPal account. Your loan agreement and repayment schedule are managed directly between you and Kiva. Loan amounts range from $1,000 - $15,000 and have 0% interest and a maximum repayment term of 3 years (36 months).


Get Started: Apply for Our Help

If Kiva sounds like a good option for your business and you are interested in working with the Northland Foundation, connect with us!

Call Amanda Vuicich, Small Business Lender at the Northland Foundation, (218) 270-8407 or email her today.

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