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Site Sets Up Microloan Pilot Program In U.S.

Written by James Conroy
Published: 6/11/2009

Kiva.org has traditionally helped SMBs in developing countries but says the program can help U.S. business owners as well.

Many small business owners have found it difficult to get funding during the recession but the good news for entrepreneurs is that a new microloan program may be able to help.

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Kiva.org, a website that allows people to lend directly to entrepreneurs across the globe is setting up a pilot program in California which will allow U.S. small businesses to benefit from the funding of people anywhere.

Through the site, users will be able to browse the list of U.S. small businesses owners and choose who they would like to lend money to - $25 at a time. From there the money can be tracked and once repaid the user can withdraw the funds or lend to another entrepreneur.

Premal Shah, president of Kiva.org, says that although most people associate microloans with the third-world, it can greatly benefit small business owners even in the U.S.

"Kiva's micro-loan model is extremely relevant to low-to-moderate income, U.S. based entrepreneurs, especially given the current economic conditions which makes access to credit a very real problem," Shah says. "The internet could become a significant source of community driven, low-cost capital for the everyday small business owner in the U.S."

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