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Kiva City Milwaukee Fuels Economic Growth through Entrepreneurship

A year-long effort to bring Kiva Zip micro-lending to small businesses in Milwaukee has resulted in Milwaukee being named a “Kiva City.” The designation, first proposed by Mayor Tom Barrett at his 2014 State of the City address, was announced at a City Hall news conference on Feb. 17, 2015 and was cheered at a community celebration later that day. Milwaukee is the 11th city nationwide to gain the designation.

Kiva Zip loans are crowd-funded, meaning they are aggregated from small loans made by many individuals through Kiva’s website. Individuals can lend as little as $5 to a small business. Kiva Zip borrowers are typically entrepreneurs who cannot qualify for more conventional business financing. Most lenders are endorsed by a “trustee,” a local organization or individual who can attest to the character of the borrower. To date, nearly 20 Milwaukee trustees have signed on to endorse local loans.

In the News

October 4, 2017 - Velobahn Coffee & Cycle opens in Milwaukee’s Silver City neighborhood

December 15, 2016 - North Side entrepreneurs pitch ideas at St. Ann Center business incubator

November 29, 2016 - "First rung on the financial ladder:" Global non-profit helps small businesses in Wisconsin

August 11, 2016 - How Kiva has affected local Milwaukee businesses

January 23, 2016 - Milwaukee man not only bakes pies, he gives back to community

January 4, 2016 - Turning Milwaukee's Food Waste Into 'Black Gold,' aka Compost

December 10, 2015 - Kiva Zip: Micro-Loans for Milwaukee

December 2, 2015 - Kiva co-founder talks micro lending at WWBIC event: Slideshow

April 23, 2015 - Kiva Already Funding City Entrepreneurs

April 2015 - Rock Paper Scissors Shakes Up Milwaukee Street with Local Art & Gifts

March 9, 2015 - Fallback career gives rise to Mr. Dye's Pies

February 17, 2015 - “A tool that helps them grow:” Kiva City Milwaukee brings crowdfunded loans to small business owners

January 23, 2015 - Kiva set to launch in Milwaukee next month

October 4, 2014 - Micro-business lender Kiva eyes Milwaukee

September 24, 2014 - Mayor's city of Milwaukee budget pledges $25,000 to Kiva micro-lending partnership

February 24, 2014 - Milwaukee could become a 'Kiva City' — what that means, and who it benefits

Kiva City Milwaukee Launch Day - February 17, 2015

At the Kiva Zip Milwaukee launch on February 17, 2015, Mayor Barrett proclaims, "It's officially Kiva Zip Milwaukee day! Invest in small entrepreneurs to trigger more investment in the city."

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Kiva City Milwaukee is a collaboration between the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) and Kiva.

City of Milwaukee as Supporter

The City of Milwaukee’s 2014 economic development plan, “Growing Prosperity,” prioritizes activities that support the growth of local companies, and the formation and nurturing of businesses that deliver goods and services to underserved neighborhoods. City government is especially enthused about the role that Kiva Zip lending can play in supporting local entrepreneurs.

Our Kiva Cities partnership raises the profile of small businesses, creates a new source of capital, and provides Milwaukee residents and organizations with an easy way to invest in local firms. We are proud to sponsor and support Kiva City Milwaukee.

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