Aug 7, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
By Camille Ricketts
Kiva and Etsy join forces to bring opportunity to artisans worldwide!


We're so excited to announce a unique partnership with Etsy today to help artisans around the world get the capital they need to grow their businesses and succeed!

For those who aren't familiar, Etsy is the online marketplace where people can connect to buy and sell handmade and other creative goods. With 900,000 shops and 60 million unique visitors a month, Etsy is reimagining commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling, sustainable world. This, of course, is directly in line with Kiva's mission to expand opportunity to people building sustainable businesses. It was only a matter of time before we found a way to work together!

Starting today, sellers on Etsy can access zero-interest loans up to $5,000 on Kiva Zip, our pilot project helping Kiva reach new types of borrowers in the U.S. and Kenya. Lenders can visit www.kiva.org/etsy to browse entrepreneurs' profiles and stories and make a loan as small as $25 to make a difference in their lives. Every dollar helps crowdfund an entrepreneur's microloan, which in turn helps them support their local economies, communities and job creation.

Unlike on other crowdfunding platforms, borrowers repay their loans on Kiva and Kiva Zip. When they do, lenders get that money back to keep or use again to support even more borrowers.

“We’ve long felt that Etsy and Kiva are different means to the same end: empowerment through entrepreneurship,” says Katie Hunt-Morr, Senior Manager Values & Impact at Etsy. “With this partnership, we're excited to give Etsy sellers access to sustainable opportunities to grow their businesses and support fellow artisans."

Kiva and Etsy will collaborate in a few other ways as well. Etsy sellers are encouraged to lend on the Kiva platform and become trustees on Kiva Zip for other artisans like themselves. Already, the Etsy Little Rock Team is doing its part to vouch for other entrepreneurs to receive 0% interest capital through Kiva.

Trustees are individuals or organizations who vouch for entrepreneurs they know and trust in their community. Once endorsed, entrepreneurs can post their loan request on Zip and begin crowdfunding their loan with the help of Kiva’s growing global community of 950,000 lenders. When an entrepreneur repays, they too, can become a Trustee on Kiva Zip and “pay it forward” by endorsing other small businesses in their networks.

“Working with Etsy gives Kiva a great opportunity to reach new types of artisans and entrepreneurs who could really benefit from access to capital,” says Kiva Zip Director Jonny Price. “Not only will it help these people grow their independent businesses, it also supports shorter, smarter supply chains, and helps keep cultural traditions alive that may have been passed down through generations.”

Etsy entrepreneurs join a vibrant community of thousands of artisan Kiva borrowers in over 65 countries around the world. So far, Kiva has helped more than a million borrowers around the world tap into capital crowdfunded by a global community of lenders.

Have questions about Kiva and Etsy's partnership? Send them our way at blog@kiva.org.

Comments

It wasn't clear how to get from Kiva Zip to Kiva. Why are the two programs separate? It would have been a great opportunity for Etsy fans to get turned on to Kiva's full lending/borrowing community.

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Camille brings her passion for storytelling to Kiva, where she helps create and curate online content. A longtime journalist, she started her career reporting on arts and culture for the Wall Street Journal in London and New York. In 2008, she joined San Francisco-based blog VentureBeat, writing about  green technology, policy and finance. Most recently, she worked in public relations for electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors. Outside of work, Camille volunteers as a web designer for maternal health nonprofit Saving Mothers. She holds a B.A. in women's history from Stanford University, where she also served as editor in chief of The Stanford Daily.

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