The Walton Family Foundation grant extends the NWA Kiva Hub by three years

A grant from the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) in Bentonville extends funding through 2025 for the Northwest Arkansas center of nonprofit microcredit organization Kiva.

In a press release on Tuesday (November 15), Kiva Northwest Arkansas Fayetteville-based startup Junkie Foundation partner announced a three-year grant worth $470,000. WFF will continue to provide dollar-for-dollar loan funding to each new Kiva-approved small business borrower in Washington and Benton counties.

The Northwest Arkansas hub is the first Kiva loan program in Arkansas and funds a variety of small businesses and other socially beneficial activities.

Founded in 2005, Kiva is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco with offices and employees worldwide. The NWA Kiva Hub is one of over 40 hubs across the United States and Puerto Rico. The Northwest Arkansas hub opened in December 2019.

“Since launching the NWA Kiva Hub, we have helped 80 local borrowers receive $1,000 to $15,000 in crowdfunded loans,” said Martha Londagin, NWA Kiva Hub Capital Access Manager. “Of those, 76 were borrowers who identified as Black, minority or female business owners, with 34% of them identifying as Black-owned businesses.”

Kiva offers royalty-free, interest-free loans up to $15,000, crowdsourced from lenders worldwide. Because Kiva loans have 0% interest, lenders do not benefit from their loans. Neither does Kiva, which is why it’s non-profit.

Kiva’s microcredit crowdsourcing platform aims to help alleviate poverty by providing startups and underserved entrepreneurs with the funds they need to get their businesses off the ground.

“We have already seen the impact this program can have on the 80 NWA small business owners that have been supported since 2019,” Londagin said. “These are truly life-changing loans, families and communities. It’s not just a slogan; I see lives changed every month through these loans. I believe that all of us here with the Kiva program can make a difference by nurturing and growing a more diverse community of business owners in Northwest Arkansas.”

The US Kiva Loan Repayment Rate is about 78%

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