This past Wednesday, March 4th, we had the pleasure of hosting an event in Oakland, Ca. in honor of International Women’s Day and the announcement of the new Kiva Oakland Hub in partnership with Centro Community Partners. Oakland has been, and continues to be, a thriving Kiva U.S. Hub with over 800 loans dispersed throughout the city. As a part of our monumental celebration, we unveiled a mural encouraging event attendees from all over the Bay Area to write what “A powerful woman is...” to them.
Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland joined us in recognizing the phenomenal work accomplished in the community, particularly shining a light on the high-achieving women in the city.
Our very own Anne Lufkin, Pacific and Mountain Regional Manager at Kiva U.S., addressed our success and vision for continued growth while supporting Oakland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“Kiva and our community have impacted Oakland with 825 loans disbursed, equating to nearly $4 million in fully funded loans. Of those, 71% are to women, so our lending community has supported 585 women-owned businesses with $2.8 million in interest free-capital in Oakland.”
Veronica Gutierrez, Capital Access Manager for the Oakland Kiva Hub, also joined in the celebration of our new partnership.
“We understand that accessing capital is vital for entrepreneurs to start and grow their small businesses. And having this option available can make a huge difference for people in our community. For this reason, we want to be a welcoming option to support and build successful businesses in Oakland and Alameda County, and open this initiative for the entire community.”
Wrapping up our wonderful gathering, founder of Fresh to Def and Kiva borrower Hope Lehman gave a powerful testimony on the impact of being able to access capital and resources to thrive as a business owner.
We thank everyone who attended this event and our Kiva community for the continued support of what we do: celebrating her every day.