Kiva Crowdfunded Micro Loans


Kiva Program Overview

The Kiva Rochester program provides zero (0) percent interest crowdfunded loans to help small business owners and entrepreneurs launch or grow their businesses.

Through the City of Rochester’s partnership with Kiva, borrowers can receive loans of up to $10,000 from online lenders through’s online crowdsourcing platform. Additionally, qualifying businesses are eligible to have online lenders matched dollar to dollar match by the Rochester Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) matching loan fund. Kiva's mission is to provide capital for entrepreneurs who may have difficulty securing loans from traditional lending institutions, and is an ideal partner for the City and REDCO in expanding their offerings for small businesses. 

For more information please see the following links:

Give a Kiva Gift Card!

Looking for the perfect last minute holiday or birthday gift? For as little as $25, a gift card provides a meaningful opportunity for your loved ones to support an entrepreneur's dream.

Kiva is the world's first and largest nonprofit microlending platform with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Together, with its growing community of over 1.4 million lenders, Kiva has crowd-funded nearly 1 billion dollars in microloans to people in 84 countries, including the United States.

When your recipient redeems the gift card credit on, they can browse through hundreds stories and photos of people, both local and around the world, who are seeking small loans to fund the growth of their businesses. They can then choose who they want to lend to -- from a small business owner in Rochester, to artisans, farmers, clean energy users and many more around the world. Best of all, a Kiva gift card is the gift that keeps on giving. Since over 90% of loans are repaid, your gift recipient can continue to lend to people on in the spirit of the holidays again and again.

Kiva gift cards are a great way to spread joy around the world this holiday season. Visit 
today to print out a Kiva card or send it via email, Facebook, or mail. 

For Businesses

To receive a Kiva loan, you must: 

  • Have a business that will be directly impacted by a $500 - $10,000 microloan;
  • not be in bankruptcy or foreclosure;
  • be able to start paying back the loan within one month of disbursal;
  • not be a liquor store, pawn shop, gun store, or adult entertainment store.
To be eligible for the REDCO matching loan fund:
  • Have a business located in the City of Rochester;
  • demonstrate how investment will increase revenue, capacity, or allow the business to hire additional employees;
  • commitment to providing regular reporting on investment and job creation;
  • receive the endorsement of a Kiva Trustee.

To apply through the Kiva Rochester Program, please contact Program Coordinator Brad Willows before beginning an application online. See below for contact information.


For Community Partners

In launching the Kiva Rochester program, the City of Rochester is also seeking to build a network of partner organizations and interested community members who are passionate about assisting small businesses, and can help connect businesses to the Kiva program. Click here for information on how to get involved.

The City is currently seeking partners to serve in one or more of the following roles:

  • Kiva Trustee: Individual or organization who can help find eligible businesses, and serve as a mentor and guide throughout the Kiva funding process. Kiva Trustees will also publicly vouch for the trustworthiness of the business owner and the viability of their business. This 'stamp of approval' will be publicly visible on the online lending platform and provide the online lending community additional confidence when lending to the business.  
  • Referral Partner: Banking or business finance organization who may refer small businesses to Kiva when they don't qualify for their loan or equity programs due to traditional underwriting standards, but still have a viable businesses. This includes factors like low equity, low cashflow, or poor credit history. After growing their businesses and establishing better credit, Kiva borrowers may return to these referral partners as traditional banking customers.
  • Resource Partner: Organization that Kiva borrowers can be referred to provide low cost or free technical assistance to the small business. This includes services like business plan writing, financial literacy, etc.

Contact Information: 

For more information, contact Kiva Program Coordinator Brad Willows at 585-428-6053 or