ACCION USA joins Kiva in Launch of Person-to-Person Microfinance in the U.S.

Good News for Borrowers: Small business owners gain increased access to affordable small business loans.

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New York, NY (PRWEB) June 10, 2009

ACCION USA, a leader and innovator in U.S. microfinance, today announced that it has joined Kiva.org, the world's first person-to-person microlending Website, in its pilot expansion in the United States. The partnership offers increased hope to financially underserved entrepreneurs seeking small business loans in the United States during a nationwide credit crunch.

How it Works
ACCION USA helps small business owners who cannot access traditional bank credit get the loans needed to grow a small business. Loans provided within the Kiva program range from $500 - $10,000 (ACCION USA lends up to $50,000 from a general loan fund). Qualified ACCION USA borrowers will be offered the opportunity to opt in to the Kiva peer-to-peer lending community, allowing them to obtain their loan without closing costs. Kiva lenders will be able to browse through a collection of U.S. borrower profiles and opt to provide direct loans in increments of $25 to entrepreneurs located in the U.S. through their online lending platform.

Consider Elizabeth Polanco, the owner of a New York-based hair salon and single mother of four. Unable to qualify for a loan through a bank, Elizabeth previously used a microloan from ACCION USA to open her salon, and is now obtaining a $6,000 loan through the ACCION USA/Kiva loan program to purchase new chairs, hairdryers, and other operating nessecities. The loan will help her to improve the look of her salon, and allow her to reach a broader range of clientele.

The Need for Microfinance in the U.S.
ACCION USA was established in 1991 in Brooklyn, NY and has since provided over 11,000 loans from its New York, Atlanta, Miami and Boston program offices, and via an online lending platform. The need for the organization's services is clear--according to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, over 10 million American small businesses lack access to working capital. Meanwhile, each microloan ACCION USA provides results in the creation of 1.7 jobs and marked increases in business income.

Gina Harman, president and CEO of ACCION USA is confident that the partnership will increase the resources available to the small business community. "ACCION USA has a long history of helping entrepreneurs in the U.S. to launch and expand their businesses and create employment in low-to-moderate income communities. Kiva has had remarkable success engaging individual patrons to invest in and empower small business owners and entrepreneurs. Our partnership enables ACCION USA borrowers to access new sources of investment and enables us to offer greater support where it is so evidently needed."

About ACCION USA
ACCION USA is a private, nonprofit organization that serves low and moderate income individuals, primarily minorities and women, who are unable to access mainstream financial services, including small business loans. A pioneer and recognized leader in the domestic microfinance field, ACCION USA is dedicated to providing microentrepreneurs and individuals on the economic margin with the crucial chance to access capital and develop greater financial literacy. ACCION USA is a member of the U.S. ACCION Network, the largest U.S. microlending network, with over $230 million lent since inception in 1991. ACCION USA small business loans range from $500-$50,000 and are offered nationwide via the ACCION USA online lending platform. For more information about small business loans, visit http://www.accionusa.org.

About Kiva.org
Kiva.org (http://www.kiva.org) is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to entrepreneurs across the globe. Founded in 2005, Kiva.org's mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. Kiva.org currently connects lenders in 185 countries with entrepreneurs in 45 countries, through 97 microfinance partners. Kiva.org is headquartered in San Francisco.

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