Angie Horkey of Westbrook is opening The Recipe with the help of Kiva
The Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) recently endorsed its first project through Kiva Zip, an online crowd-funding tool. Widely known as the international microlending site, Kiva recently started a pilot project called Kiva Zip, the online microlending platform specifically for businesses within the U.S. SWIF was invited to become a Kiva Zip trustee—currently the only one located in Minnesota—which allows the organization to endorse a project.
Crowd-funding is the newest wave in financing small business projects in a unique way by directly involving friends, family, community members or anyone who takes an interest in the business. The idea is based on small loans making a big impact in the lives of business owners and the communities in which they live.
“The Southwest Initiative Foundation is a likely candidate to partner with Kiva,” said SWIF Program Officer Kurt Thompson. “As one of Minnesota’s leading microlending organizations, this is a natural next step to assist entrepreneurs in communities throughout our region.”
SWIF’s first endorsed loan project is located in the small community of Westbrook. Angie Horkey is opening a new restaurant, The Recipe, on Main Street.
“The restaurant is a welcome site for locals who are anxious to have a place to gather for coffee, lunches and special events,” said Bank Midwest Vice President Janet Johnson.
A project must be endorsed to participate through Kiva. Anyone can become a lender by going on the Kiva website and loaning a business $25 at a time—or more, but the idea is to promote that you made this loan through social media and other channels, prompting others to get involved and also support the project.
Lenders can search for The Recipe online at www.zip.kiva.com. The money pledged to Horkey is an interest-free loan that she will pay back during the next 12 months. Kiva and its Trustees, including SWIF, hope lenders will see this as a way to help others and once repaid, would look for another project to fund.
“Anyone can become a cheerleader for Angie by becoming one of her lenders,” said Thompson. “That’s the beauty of crowd-funding.”
This endorsement is being paired with a loan from SWIF’s Microenterprise Loan Program which offers loans of up to $50,000 for starting or expanding for-profit small businesses located within the 18 counties of southwest Minnesota. This program also serves Carver, Stearns and Wright counties. In addition to financing, SWIF provides free technical assistance to all clients who have received a loan through the Microenterprise Program for the life of the loan. SWIF staff and business consultants provide one-to-one business planning, accounting, marketing and other training opportunities that will help entrepreneurs succeed in their venture. The program receives funding assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, contact SWIF at 800-594-9480, 320-587-4848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.