The Northland Foundation offers no-charge help to businesses in our service area that would like to access loans through Kiva, a non-profit and a leader in micro-loans.

The Northland Foundation provides assistance to small businesses seeking a Kiva loan. Kiva has developed an online crowd-funding platform that encourages lenders around the world to lend to local borrowers.

Kiva loan amounts range from $1,000 – $15,000 at 0% interest with a repayment term of up to three years (36 months). Loan agreements and repayment terms are managed directly by Kiva.

This one-page flyer gives a good overview of how it works.

Learn More About
Kiva & 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 five 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 may be a fit if you are an entrepreneur who is:

  • Eager to grow or expand your business
  • Active on social media
  • 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 three years (36 months).

To Learn More About

Free help with Kiva, email Amanda Vuicich or call her at (218) 270-8407.

From traditional, ancestral & contemporary lands of Ojibwe, Dakota, Northern Cheyenne & other Native people. See a more detailed acknowledgement of this land and its history.


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