Kiva Rochester Crowdfunded Loans

Empowering Rochester's entrepreneurs with accessible small business loans!

Kiva provides crowdfunded business loans of $1,000-$15,000 at 0% interest and with no fees. Borrowers use their loans for projects such as renovations, purchasing pieces of equipment, or moving into store fronts. The Kiva Rochester team helps Rochester entrepreneurs navigate Kiva, an international nonprofit stationed in San Francisco. Kiva loans are crowdfunded, $25 at a time by individual lenders on the Kiva platform. Kiva expands access to capital for entrepreneurs and is an ideal partner for the City and REDCO in supporting small businesses. 

The Kiva Rochester team helps local entrepreneurs through the Kiva loan application, fundraising, and repayment processes. 

Interested in a 0% interest small business loan? 

What is a Kiva Crowdfunded Loan? 

    • 0 percent interest business loans, no fees, $1,000-$15,000
    • Terms 12- 36 months
    • No minimum credit score
    • Unique “Social Underwriting” during the application review
    • Crowdfunded by individual lenders investing $25 at a time

Who is eligible?

Minimum Requirements
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Not be in current bankruptcy or foreclosure
  • Use the loan for a legal business
  • Not be a franchise or multi-level marketing business

 The Most Successful Borrowers

  • Are tech-savvy
  • Have a strong network of supporters
  • Are significantly impacted by a small business loan
  • Have a business plan
  • Work closely with the Kiva Rochester team while applying

 How Does Kiva Work?

An overview of the Kiva Journey can be found here.

  • You will complete the Kiva loan application, including narrative sections that describe your business and personal story
  • The Kiva review team in San Francisco will perform a unique underwriting process that looks at both your financial and social credit
  • You will be asked to find community members to fund a small portion of your loan to demonstrate your trustworthiness 
  • Your loan will then go public and over 1 million individual lenders will be able to view your public Kiva profile and lend to your business
  • After your loan is fully crowdfunded it will be disbursed via PayPal in 3-5 business days
  • Repayment begins 1 month from loan disbursal 

 Resources for Kiva Applicants

Additional Resources for Small Business Owners

  • Hello Alice, a virtual resource connecting small business owners to funding, networks, and services

Become a Kiva Rochester Community Partner!  

Kiva Rochester is a partnership between the City of Rochester and Kiva, the world's largest crowdfunded micro-lender. The goal of this partnership is to strengthen the small business economy of Rochester and build wealth in low-income communities by providing access to affordable capital and sustainable economic opportunity. Kiva focuses on character-based lending: Creditworthiness is established by looking at the social capital of an applicant and the relationships that exist between the applicant and their community. 

The Kiva Rochester program is always 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. Our partners can be resource organizations, individuals working in the entrepreneurial space, or those interested in getting involved. 

Please email us at for information on becoming one of our partners!