Kiva-Foster City Partnership
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Kiva-Foster City Partnership
For Immediate Release: April 24, 2017
Contact: Vanessa Brannon, (650) 286-3354, vbrannon@fostercity.org

Public-Private Partnership to Help Foster City Small Businesses

Bay Area-based Kiva.org—best known for crowdfunding loans for 2 million entrepreneurs globally—is coming to Foster City. The City of Foster City is partnering with Kiva to bring 0% interest crowdfunded loans and matching loan funds to Foster City small and micro business owners.

"Programs like Kiva are innovative and creative solutions to big problems," said Mayor Charlie Bronitsky. Vice Mayor Sam Hindi added, "This is a great opportunity to help our small businesses, to reinvest in our community."

"Small businesses are the heart of this city. They bring color and vibrancy to the neighborhoods, create quality jobs, and enrich our cultural fabric," said Premal Shah, President of Kiva.org. "They have the passion and the plan, but often they lack just a small amount of capital to start or expand. Through Kiva, we can all be a part of their success."

Across the Bay Area, Kiva has connected thousands of small dollar lenders to hundreds of local entrepreneurs. In Foster City, the partnership could benefit:

  • Restaurants needing loan funds to modernize existing operations or to fund minor interior renovations.
  • Tech startups looking to purchase equipment related to startup costs.
  • Small manufacturers wanting to fund small materials and equipment purchases.

Those interested in helping small businesses thrive in Foster City can visit www.kiva.org/lend/foster-city to browse through small business owner's profiles and choose who they want to lend to. Individual loans of $25 or more are collected until the borrower's full loan request is "crowdfunded."

Beginning today, the City of Foster City will match every dollar that individuals lend to Foster City borrowers who meet the eligibility criteria. Borrowers can request loans up to $10,000 through Kiva at 0% interest and no fees. As the entrepreneur repays, lenders can relend that same money to another person or withdraw their money and put it back in their pocket.

Foster City's partnership continues Kiva's work to expand into the Bay Area. Kiva has previously launched "Kiva San Francisco" and in 2013, Oakland became the first city in the country to officially partner with Kiva US as a Trustee to vouch for small business owners on Kiva's platform. Foster City has also become a Kiva Trustee and will work with Kiva and borrowers to review each loan application to ensure that borrower's meet the criteria. To qualify for the Foster City matching funds, borrowers must fill out an application at kiva.org/borrow.

The City of Foster City's partnership with Kiva is a part of Foster City's Economic Development Strategic Plan. Specifically, Foster City's City Council is working to facilitate public-private agreements to leverage private investment in businesses and privately owned buildings and support the health and growth of businesses, especially in the areas of business intelligence and training, workforce development, workforce housing, and access to capital.

City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200