Capital One Financial Corporation today announced that it will expand its partnership with Kiva, a global microlending organization, by providing $500,000 to match loans made to U.S. small businesses on Kiva’s crowdfunding platform, helping entrepreneurs across the country with additional funding to start, sustain and grow their businesses. Through Kiva’s proven microlending model, anyone with an Internet connection and $25 can help crowdfund a loan to a small business owner profiled on kiva.org. Since 2005, Kiva has crowdfunded more than $400 million in microloans by connecting a growing global community of 890,000 lenders to 975,000 entrepreneurs from five continents. In June 2010, Kiva opened up their crowdfunding platform to U.S. small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in several cities, including New Orleans, Detroit, Los Angeles and D.C. Now, with the support of Capital One, Kiva is bringing its popular microlending model to reach more entrepreneurs across the country. “Small businesses are the engine of our economy, as they do well it has a ripple effect on local economies – jobs are created and communities are strengthened. Kiva helps make an important connection between local businesses and the people they serve, giving local community members a vested interest in business success,” said Jonathan W. Witter, President of Retail and Direct Bank, Capital One. “At Capital One, we’re committed to helping aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses of every size grow and thrive – whether it’s directly through our products and services, or through innovative partnerships and digital channels like Kiva.org.” Capital One’s support of Kiva’s work in the U.S. and small businesses builds on the successful launch of Kiva City D.C. in January. Kiva City D.C. is a new partnership between Capital One, Kiva and the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC). Through this partnership, LEDC identifies entrepreneurs in the D.C. area who can benefit from a microloan, posts their profiles on kiva.org and administers the loan program. Since the launch just six weeks ago, nine local businesses in our nation’s capitol have received funding from more than 1,000 lenders and Capital One through Kiva City D.C.
“If the money stored in our wallets was given a new life for a short amount of time, as a loan to a small business owner, each of us could help to shape the course and success of the economy,” said Premal Shah, President of Kiva. “A single loan, a single business or a single job can change the trajectory of families, communities, and cities. Now, with Capital One’s support, the amount you lend will be matched and small business owners across the U.S. will be that much closer to realizing their dream.”According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses create two out of three net new jobs in the U.S. over the last 17 years. Over the past seven years, Kiva has helped to mainstream microlending and pioneered the field of crowdfunding. Capital One is also driving new innovations at Kiva through its support of Kiva Zip, a pilot program that aims to expand access to capital for entrepreneurs, lower costs of capital, and increase connections between lenders and borrowers. Through Kiva Zip, even individuals and organizations without loan programs can help bring borrowers onto zip.kiva.org to be crowdfunded. Through Kiva’s proven crowdfunding model, anyone can go to kiva.org or zip.kiva.org and browse through profiles and stories of people in need of a microloan and choose someone to lend as little as $25. With a 98% repayment rate, the money that is lent to a small business owner is truly a loan, not a donation. Every dollar helps to crowdfund that business’ microloan, which in turn helps to support thriving local economies, communities and jobs. About Kiva.org Kiva is a non-profit organization working to alleviate poverty by connecting people around the world through microlending. With as little as a $25 loan, anyone can help a borrower create new opportunities for themselves and their family. Together with more than 890,000 Kiva lenders and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva has created economic opportunity for more than 975,000 borrowers. Since its inception in 2005, Kiva lenders have funded more than $390 million in loans with a 98.9% repayment rate. Visit www.kiva.org for more information. About Capital One Capital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Its subsidiaries, Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities - good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families - benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives.