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The Kiva City hubbub

Elevating the “unbankable” business owner should become an economic win-win for Madison.

(page 3 of 3)

Business to business

Christenson urges the Madison business community to get involved either as lenders or trustees.

Corporations can establish a Kiva fund that employees can donate to in any number of fun ways, and then decide as a group where or which business to fund.

They can also purchase Kiva gift cards that allow individuals the freedom to do their own research on their own time as they become lenders to other entrepreneurs hoping to get over a hump.

“Banks should be all over this!” Christensen states.

“Kiva assumes the risk on people who today may be considered ‘unbankable’ but who may seek more traditional loans as they grow their businesses.

“If you’re the entrepreneur, there aren’t many barriers to entry. If you’re the lender, it’s an easy way to put your money to good use and support young businesses. Everything helps our greater Madison community, and that’s why we support it.”

Ruth Allen, owner

Ruthie’s Comfort Food Catering and Food Truck Inc., aka Ruthie’s Inc.

Loan Amount: $3,000

For: License and insurance renewals; getting equipment out of storage; purchasing goods; and repairs to hot dog cart

Applied for loan: February 2019

How long before fully funded? 30 days

Business Model: I prepare home-style meals in a commercial setting. In other words, I bring my kitchen to the streets.

Are you in your payback period? My lenders receive payment from Kiva every month for their generous donation to my business.

Prior to Kiva, had you tried to get funding before? I knew my credit was not up to par to apply for a traditional loan through a bank or finance company. I also knew that my family members were not able to loan me money.

Would you recommend Kiva to others? I would, especially if traditional funding is not possible due to credit hang ups, whether because of low credit scores or not enough established credit. This is the perfect option to get it done!

In your opinion, what should entrepreneurs and the greater Madison business community know about Kiva? Kiva is a valuable asset for those who want a chance to prove themselves. It’s a dream granter for the dreamer who can’t see any other way to make their dream a reality. It’s a way to become self-sufficient and a blessing from a community of friends and strangers that believe in your vision just as much as you do. Kiva revived my hope and fueled my desire to succeed.

Any final thoughts? My Kiva experience has been awesome. I’ve been able to purchase some equipment, made scheduled payments that get applied directly to the principal with no finance charges. Thanks Kiva for making my business dreams a reality!

Namgyal Ponsar, owner

Little Tibet Madison

Loan Amount: $10,000

For: Walk-in cooler

Applied for loan: January 2019

How long before funded? One week

Business Model: Family-owned restaurant offering traditional homemade Tibetan and Himalayan food

Prior to Kiva, had you tried to get funding before? I thought about applying for a WWBIC loan but didn’t have to because of Kiva.

Did you prepare a business plan? Yes, WWBIC helped me.

How did the personal fundraising go for you? Family and friends all came out to help and support me.

Would you recommend Kiva to others? Definitely! I think it is such a great platform for small business owners and entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses.

In your opinion, what should entrepreneurs and the greater Madison business community know about Kiva? Kiva is for entrepreneurs all over the world to use. It brings people together because people enjoy helping other people succeed.

Any final thoughts about your Kiva experience? I feel very lucky to come across Kiva and use this great platform to start my business. For me, Kiva is like a big extended family with family members scattered all over the continent, spreading love and kindness and giving hope to the dreamers. Even though I never met my lenders, I still feel very close to them and think about them each time a customer compliments my food and leaves my restaurant with a smile on their face. Because of my lenders’ generosity and their belief in me, I am happily doing my dream job.

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