On April 2, CAMEO formally announced its Kiva microlending partnership, a collaboration that brings crowdfunded microloans to more small businesses in California. Growing the state’s micro-business sector is a key component for job growth and building of new economy. “Businesses aren’t creating enough jobs and government employment’s been cut back,” said Claudia Viek, CEO of CAMEO. “Do it yourself. Create your own job, start your own business. It’s these very small, micro-businesses that are the future of our economy.”
Three CAMEO members – Fresno Community Development Financial Institution, the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment, and Working Solutions – have joined Kiva, the world’s first and largest microlending platform. Each microlender identifies potential borrowers, provides them with business advising services, administers the loan, and posts their profiles on kiva.org.
Check out these op-eds and news pieces about the CAMEO-Kiva collaboration:
- “Economic recovery: Fueling the 99 percent of businesses is what’s needed to create jobs,” San Jose Mercury News
- “Salam Nalia: Invest in your backyard,” Fresno Bee
- “Bay Area Nonprofits Offer Support To Boost Statewide Microlending Efforts,” KCBS 106.9 FM, 740 AM
- “CAMEO and Kiva Partnership Boosts Access to Crowdfunded Microloans for Small Businesses,” KGO 810 AM
Kiva lenders – people from all around the world and all income levels – browse through these stories on the Kiva website. When they find a borrower they think deserves a loan, they lend them anywhere from $25 to $500. It takes many people to fully fund a Kiva loan, and borrowers have just 30 days to have their loan fully funded. Once the loan is funded, each Kiva lender is paid back; most lenders use these funds to fund further loans! Loans funded through Kiva have a 98% repayment rate, so the money lent is very likely to be repaid.
Meet the Borrowers
Here are the first five borrowers selected by CAMEO members to participate in the Kiva program. Click on their photos to be taken to their Kiva page and make a loan!
Fresno CDFI provides affordable financing, training and technical assistance to individuals, small businesses and community facilities in Fresno. The organization offers loans up to $250,000 to help businesses increase working capital and purchase new equipment. Click here to visit their Kiva profile.
Joseluis began selling car care products out of his home in Visalia, California in 2010. He established a route selling to car dealerships, used car lots, and other auto-related businesses in the area. In 2012 Joseluis started his own product line “Prime Car Care Products” which he now sells alongside his other products. He’s excited to be distributing his own product and now he’s even more passionate about making the sales.
Loan Amount: $5,000
Muy came to the United States as refugees in 1981, and began to farm in 1998. She sells her produce at the San Jose Swap Meet each week. During the winter months, she buys produce at wholesale prices to sell at the swap meet. She also delivers produce to restaurants in her box truck. During the summer, she is able to eliminate the purchase of produce by harvesting from her farm.
Loan Amount: $8,000 Muy’s loan funded in less than a day!
Mario lost his job during the recession, financially devastating his family and destroying his credit. Over the following years, he decided to build on his military and law enforcement experience; he trained to become a firearms and security guard instructor. He is certified by California to provide training to others wishing to enter the security field. Mario was unable to obtain a bank loan due to his credit issues. He sought help at the local Small Business Administration office which referred him to Fresno CDFI.
Loan Amount: $5,000 Mario’s loan funded in less than a day!
Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE)
Founded in 1976, PACE offers training to low-income individuals and families seeking employment opportunities, business development skills, improved financial skills and affordable housing. Click here to visit their Kiva profile.
When Tanitra‘s son started playing music, she couldn’t find a good teaching program in her area, so she started the Southern California Fine Music Center (SCFMC) to provide quality music education in Inglewood. Now, because she has more students, she needs to move her music school from her house to a studio in Inglewood. Tanitra will offer regular community music classes that introduce families to the possibilities of a music education.
Loan Amount: $9,950
Working Solutions is a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurs to start or grow successful Bay Area businesses. They provide micro- and small business loans and long-term business advising. Click here to visit their Kiva profile.
Rebekah worked in preschool education for almost 10 years until her program faced dramatic cuts. In 2007, she began working as a certified massage therapist in Walnut Creek. In order to advance her practice, she created R and R Therapeutic Massage in January of 2013. Rebekah received a loan from Kiva and Working Solutions because Bay Area banks do not lend to small start-up businesses.
Loan Amount: $10,000
These five borrowers are just the beginning! To help bring attention and support to these deserving businesses and the agencies that support them, CAMEO created a CAMEO Lending Team on kiva.org. By joining the CAMEO Micro Lending team you will receive notices when CAMEO’s lenders have posted a new loan, get updates on those that have been funded, and help build a support network for this project. The CAMEO Lending Team will help spread the word about the CAMEO Kiva project and be a great way for those new to Kiva and the crowd funding process to learn and participate. Click here to join!