Calling All Women Entrepreneurs of Southwest Florida: Work with Kiva and the Women's Foundation of SW Florida to Start and Expand Your Business with 0% Interest Loans.

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The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida has partnered with Kiva, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform to help Southwest Florida women entrepreneurs access the capital they need to launch or grow their business. Southwest Florida women can now apply for loans of up to $10,000 with 0% interest and 36 months to repay.

Women-led companies only receive 7% of all venture capital funding in the United States, but a local nonprofit is looking to change that.

The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida has partnered with Kiva, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform to help Southwest Florida women entrepreneurs access the capital they need to launch or grow their business. Southwest Florida women can now apply for loans of up to $10,000 with 0% interest and 36 months to repay.

“To be honest, the possibility of an interest-free loan for a new business like mine seemed too good to be true; but Kiva and the Women’s Foundation make it possible,” says, Dayhanna Acosta, CEO of Create SFN Inc. a SWFL marketing agency currently using Kiva as a crowdfunding platform.

Character Over Credit

Building business credit presents a challenge for women-owned businesses who might not have collateral or a good credit score. Kiva eliminates that barrier by focusing on the borrower’s character. Instead of assessing a borrower’s credit and financial history, Kiva uses the borrower’s trust network as a measure of creditworthiness. Business owners who are approved into the crowdfunding platform must secure the support of five to 30 friends, family members, colleagues or customers who are willing to lend at least $25 towards their loan.

“The partnership of the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida with Kiva is a perfect fit. Giving women an opportunity to grow their business with an interest-free loan is unheard of! In fact, when sending out emails looking for new partners in the KIVA program, I was asked… “Is this for real?” What a great opportunity for female entrepreneurs!” says, Maria Hayes, Founder of Hayes CPA & Associates PLLC.

Once the support of friends and family is secured entrepreneurs can begin publicly fundraising from KIVA’s network of over a million lenders.
“I joined the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida to make an impact in the lives of women and girls through empowerment, advocacy and sustainability. Through initiatives like Kiva, our female entrepreneurs can thrive in a highly competitive region with the support of an incredible network,” says Lori Monserrat, Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida Board Member.

The Women’s Foundation facilitates Kiva loans by providing financial support for local borrowers and engaging the local community in funding and supporting the entrepreneur’s crowdfunding goals. The Foundation is actively helping Maria Hayes from Hayes CPA and Associates PLLC and Dayhanna Acosta from Create SFN, Inc. The foundation aims to support another 28 women entrepreneurs in 2016. For more information, visit http://www.fundwomenfl.org or email contact(at)FundWomenFL(dot)org. Follow The Women's Foundation online at http://facebook.com/WomensFundFL and on http://twitter.com/WomensFundFL.

About the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida

The Women’s Foundation, serving Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties, is the only non-profit in Southwest Florida focused exclusively on women and girls and was the first to publish academic research assessing the status of women in the area. Signature programs include (1) stopping the sale of our children for sex and (2) economic security for women. The Board of Directors will build a $5 million endowed organization dedicated to the advancement of women and girls in Southwest Florida by 2020. With this sustained funding source, The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida will make significant and sustainable investments in collaborative partnerships, create and fund innovative solutions to complex problems and deliver measurable impact. For more information, visit http://www.fundwomenfl.org or email contact(at)FundWomenFL(dot)org. Follow The Women's Foundation online at http://facebook.com/WomensFundFL and on http://twitter.com/WomensFundFL.

About Kiva.org

Kiva.org is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. With as little as a $25 loan, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy and realize their potential. Since 2005, Kiva and their growing global community of 1.4 million lenders have crowdfunded over $750 million in microloans to nearly 1.7 million entrepreneurs in 80 countries, with a 98% repayment rate. For more information, visit http://www.kiva.org and http://www.KivaZip.org

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Craig Jones

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