Kiva and Etsy Join Forces to Help Artisans Grow Their Business
Microlending website Kiva and online marketplace Etsy announced a unique partnership today to help artisans around the world get the capital they need to start or grow their businesses. Starting today, sellers on Etsy can access zero-interest loans up to $5,000 crowdfunded on Kiva Zip, a pilot project that helps Kiva reach new types of borrowers in the U.S. and Kenya.
Lenders can visit kiva.org/etsy to browse entrepreneurs' profiles and stories and make a loan of $25 or more to the person of their choice. Every dollar lent helps crowdfund an artisan's microloan, which in turn helps support their local economies and communities. Unlike other crowdfunding platforms that are donation based, borrowers repay their crowdfunded loans. And when they do, lenders can withdraw their money from the system or relend it to support even more borrowers.
"We've long felt that Etsy and Kiva are different means to the same end: empowerment through entrepreneurship," says Katie Hunt-Morr, Senior Manager Values & Impact at Etsy. "With this partnership, we're excited to give Etsy sellers access to sustainable opportunities to grow their businesses and support fellow artisans."
Kiva and Etsy are collaborating in a few other ways. Etsy sellers are being encouraged to lend to others artisans like themselves on Kiva platform and to become Trustees on Kiva Zip. The Etsy Little Rock Team is already doing its part as a Trustee, vouching for entrepreneurs so that they can receive 0% interest crowdfunded loans through Kiva.
Trustees on Kiva Zip are individuals or organizations who vouch for entrepreneurs they know and trust in their community. Once endorsed, entrepreneurs can post their loan request on zip.kiva.org and begin crowdfunding their loan with the help of friends, community members, and Kiva's growing global community of 950,000 lenders. When an entrepreneur repays, they too, can become a Trustee on Kiva Zip and "pay it forward" by endorsing other entrepreneurs in their community.