WACO,TX — A new nonprofit is coming to Central Texas to help local businesses struggling to stay afloat.
Waco was one of 12 cities chosen from across the country, and is the first Texas city to become a "Kiva Hub."
Kiva is the largest crowd lending platform in the world, launching as a solution for entrepreneurs in third world countries to gain capital.
They decided to expand their focus to local businesses. In partnership with Startup Waco, businesses will have access to 0% interest fee loans to gain capital and build credit.
"It's a practical tool to say here's where you can go, here's what you need to do to access the capital you need for your business," said Jon Passavant, CEO of Startup Waco.
Gaining capital and credit for small businesses can help in multiple ways, and Kiva is the organization to give out loans.
The Waco City Council even gave a kick-start grant of $50,000 to Kiva.
"During this COVID season, we've realized some of the struggles some of the small business face, including those who are traditionally under banked," said Waco Mayor, Dillon Meek.
In a time where much hope has been lost, Kiva coming to Waco means we're heading in the right direction.
"We have to take a diversified approach to ensure we have the diversified healthy economy that we want," Mayor Meek said.
The community can even help by creating a Kiva account and lending money to their favorite small business in the area.
"It's not an investment. There's no equity. It's not a donation. You get the money back. It's a loan," Passavant explained.
Because it is community members helping their local economy, Kiva allows these loans to have 0% interest for businesses, helping them gain capital and credit easier.
Startup Waco will help launch Kiva in the first week of January. By the middle of the month, businesses will be able to start accessing those loans.
Startup Waco will announce details on webinars and how businesses and community members can get involved over the next few weeks.
For more information about Kiva you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow them on their Facebook page.