Former President Bill Clinton on Friday helped announce a new initiative that will expand the availability of microloans for small business owners in the area.
Speaking in the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Clinton introduced Kiva City Little Rock — an extension of the Kiva City Initiative that launched at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative America. Kiva focuses on helping small businesses get loans through Internet crowdfunding.
Kiva President Premal Shah explained the benefits of crowd-sourced loans. Shah said that just a few years after launching Kiva, more than one million small businesses have been helped by crowd-funded loans online.
Janie Barrera, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Accion Texas, and Douglas Sabo, head of Corporate Responsibility for Visa, also attended and spoke at the event. Both Visa and Accion Texas are collaborating with Kiva on the Little Rock initiative.
Through the program, small-business owners and entrepreneurs can crowd-fund loans — as little as $25 each — from a network of online investors, according to a news release. The release states that Kiva has launched crowdfunding microloan initiatives in more than 50 cities and towns nationwide.
Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.