Kiva KC: A New Microloan Program Supporting Entrepreneurs & Small Business Owners

In Business Development, Entrepreneurs, Incentives and Loans, Small Business by EDCKC Staff

The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City (EDCKC), in collaboration with the City of Kansas City, Missouri’s KC BizCare office, has partnered with KivaUS to launch a local hub, Kiva Kansas City (Kiva KC), in an effort to assist underestimated entrepreneurs and small business owners with accessible and affordable starting capital. 

KivaUS is the United States branch of Kiva, an international non-profit founded in 2005 that connects business owners with over two million lenders located through their online crowdfunding platform, Through the newly formed Kiva KC, members of the Kansas City community can sign up to lend money to either local or international entrepreneurs.

“KivaUS is excited about entering the Kansas City market to provide affordable capital. Through our Kansas City, MO Kiva Hub, EDCKC will fil a gap in financing entrepreneurs with our crowdfunded, 0% interest loans. We’ve found that identifying capital is one of the biggest challenges our business owners cite. As a result, you will see entrepreneurs become economic engines in their communities after not only receiving capital, but also receiving technical support from EDCKC and community partners,” stated Warren S. Galloway, Senior Partnerships Manager, KivaUS.

Kiva loans use social underwriting and target business owners who have had difficulties securing traditional bank loans. Kiva loans are offered at 0% interest with no fees. Borrowers who apply and get approved for a Kiva loan must have between 5-40 of their friends, family, or personal network lend as little as $25 to their loan. This proves a borrower’s creditworthiness and is part of Kiva’s social underwriting process. Once a borrower has reached their lender goal, they are listed on Kiva’s online platform, where they raise the remaining balance of their approved loan amount.

“Our intent with the new crowdfunded loan program is to create more opportunities for our KC entrepreneurs to get access to affordable starting capital for their businesses,” said Nia Richardson, managing director of small business and digital equity with the City of Kansas City. “The National League of Cities really helped to make this possible through their CIE program and grants for microlending. Their program gave us the tools and resources we needed to bring the first hub to Kansas City.”

Last year, the City of Kansas City participated in the City Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE) program with the National League of Cities for microlending. Through its participation, Kansas City committed to building a platform for microlending to serve entrepreneurs without access to traditional finance. The commitment included the establishment of a local Kiva Hub and the hiring of a new Capital Access Manager to implement the program. The City of Kansas City partnered with EDCKC to bring the first Kiva hub to Kansas City and is a component of its new small business “starting” capital programs launching in 2024.

“We’re happy to partner with the City of Kansas City to establish a Kiva hub in our region. This relationship will allow us to guide and support crucial small businesses that help our economic ecosystem expand, while also bringing in disadvantaged participants that are typically excluded,” said Tracey Lewis, President and CEO of EDCKC.

“I’m excited to take on the role of Capital Access Manager for Kiva KC and help minority and female entrepreneurs regain control of their finances. I’ll be able to walk interested borrowers through the Kiva application, fundraising, and repayment process, locally in Kansas City, making the program even more accessible,” said Regina Sosa, Capital Access Manager with EDCKC.

Kiva and EDCKC welcome area business owners to apply for loans ranging from $1k – $15k. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, not actively in bankruptcy or foreclosure, and the loan must be used for businesses that are legal on a federal level.

Interested borrowers should contact: Regina Sosa, Kiva KC Capital Access Manager 

To learn more about the new KC Small Business Capital Programs visit