To celebrate Small Business Week, which is honored in the U.S. May 2-5th, Kiva is excited to announce our partnership with Umpqua Bank. Through the partnership, Umpqua will match loans made to women and BIPOC entrepreneurs in the states it operates, including Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California. The partnership will continue until Umpqua reaches its goal of $1 million lent to underrepresented entrepreneurs.
Individuals interested in helping minority and women entrepreneurs secure a microloan to launch or grow a business can do so by contributing any dollar amount through the Umpqua Bank Managed Loan Fund. Anyone interested in becoming a funder can visit www.kiva.org/team/umpquabank to learn more.
According to Umpqua’s Chief Marketing Communications Officer Eve Callahan, who oversees the bank’s partnership with Kiva, Umpqua is leveraging Kiva’s innovative platform and focus on storytelling to create deeper connections between aspiring entrepreneurs and ordinary people that ultimately lead to greater investments and prosperity across its communities.
“The power of Kiva’s model is that it not only creates opportunity for entrepreneurs, it also gives anyone who cares about economic justice and opportunity a way to make a real, meaningful difference,” said Callahan. “Our partnership with Kiva gives people a chance to learn about entrepreneurs’ stories, understand their goals, and then become part of their success by contributing any amount, small or large, that we’ll triple-match.”
Since launching earlier this year, people from all over Umpqua’s footprint have contributed towards a BIPOC or women entrepreneur that Umpqua has matched through its loan fund. So far, nearly $350,000 has helped fully finance the needs of roughly 80 entrepreneurs.
In Oregon, Umpqua’s loan fund has helped a women-owned farm unable to secure a USDA microloan purchase equipment needed to grow, harvest and sell organic produce. The fund has also enabled an immigrant family business that buys and sells artisanal goods from Mexico diversify and expand inventory.
More than 25 entrepreneurs are now actively seeking funding through Umpqua’s loan fund for accelerated access to crowdfunded microloans of varying amounts. Their stories and how they will use the capital to launch a business or add new products, equipment, and jobs in local communities can be found here.