We empower small businesses and fuel job growth.
More than 90 entrepreneurs have accessed more than $500,000.
But for many Louisville entrepreneurs who dream of starting their own businesses, options for accessing capital are limited. They are among the vast number of financially excluded individuals in the U.S. who are then unable to launch or grow their ideas.
The region needs more capital to create new opportunities for entrepreneurs.
And we love supporting its food entrepreneurs! Below are some examples of food-oriented entrepreneurs we've supported in the past.
Sweet Peaches is a soup and sandwiches cafe in Louisville's Russell neighborhood. A self-trained chef, Pamela is an anchor in the community. Her Kiva loan bought her an oven hood so she can expand her menu to include fried fish and more.
Healthy Eating is a combination restaurant and meal prep business. Marcus specializes in nutritious prepared meals delivered to customers' homes. His Kiva loan rented a larger kitchen space behind the cafe, where he can produce more than 400 meals per day.
Scarlet’s Bakery is a social enterprise providing delectable desserts to customers who value high quality ingredients, fresh taste and leveraging their purchasing for a greater good. Founded by the non-profit Scarlet Hope, Rachelle's bakery provides jobs to women leaving the sex industry.
Other local small business owners like Pamela, Marcus and Rachelle are currently fundraising on Kiva. Dozens of other small businesses that have fundraised on Kiva already could also use your help! Click below to support local business by lending to an entrepreneur or by shopping locally.
Kiva City Louisville aims to support hundreds of hard-working small business owners. If you are a small business owner in Louisville, and your business could benefit from a microloan, then we would love to hear from you.
Kiva Zip was crucial for the start of my new business. The peace of mind I felt after I got my loan and was able to secure my shop’s location as soon as I found the perfect space was priceless. Kiva Zip is a brilliant way of getting people involved and personally invested in folks who have big dreams but small wallets.
Without a loan from Kiva, we would probably still be months away from opening our business. That loan has meant so much more to us than a dollar amount: empowerment that we can do anything we put our minds to, we’ve become role models for others in our community and in other parts of the world, and a renewed hope in humanity.
C&R Beauty Bar, Louisville
Our loans are at 0% interest, with no fees, and no catch! Loans can be up to $10,000, paid back over up to three years. Kiva approves many loan applications that other lenders would not.
Ready to start your online application? Click below.
We could not positively impact the lives of dozens of local small business owners without the assistance of our trustee network. Learn more about our trustees below, and see how you can get involved!
Seed Capital KY is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization created to catalyze the success and resilience of Kentucky’s regional agriculture and regional food economy.
Sowing Excellence Through Economic Empowerment, housed at the Family Life Center of St. Stephen Church in Louisville's West End, was created to mentor and assist entrepreneurs as they step out in faith to fulfill their God-given dreams.
The mission of Slow Money KY is to develop a network of community members who are investing as if food, farms and fertility mattered. Connecting investors to the places where they live and creating vital relationships and new sources of capital for small food enterprises.
Kiva Trustees source entrepreneurs they believe in and publicly endorse them as borrowers on the Kiva website. Trustees have no financial liability for loans, and their reputation is tied to the repayment rate of the borrowers they endorse.
Trustees can be individuals or organizations.
Support for Kiva City Louisville also comes from a parnership between the City of Louisville and Kiva, organizations that have provided grant funding, as well as organizations that have provided loan matching funds for local entrepreneurs that raise money on the Kiva site.
Find out more about our grant funders and loan matchers below.
Access Ventures is an impact-investment group that deploys holistic investments to see communities flourish. We tailor our investment strategies with a layered capital approach which is predicated on the belief that all people matter. We step into challenging situations, wrestle with their complexity, and create solutions that enable human flourishing. We believe that when we invest in people, we can help to fundamentally change the way communities see themselves and the world around them.
Founded in 1904, Stock Yards Bank & Trust has evolved from a small bank serving the Louisville livestock industry to a nationally recognized bank known for exceptional service and financial performance. We’ve developed a full range of financial services to meet the needs of each of our customers, regardless of size or the complexity of their needs. And we’ve built our business in the simplest and most straightforward way possible – one account at a time, relationship by relationship.
For nearly 100 years, Metro United Way has worked to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Today they are committed to their vision of a community whose people achieve their fullest potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives - the building blocks for a good quality of life. Metro United Way recruits the people and organizations from across the community who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to accomplish their goals. You can give, advocate and volunteer to Live United.
The James Graham Brown Foundation was established in 1943 and formally incorporated in 1954. It is the largest private foundation in KY, contributing more than $500,000,000 in the areas of quality of life, education and health. The Foundation cultivates progress and civic pride through investments promoting the image of Kentucky and Louisville as national leaders in education, health, business and quality of life.
The Ogle Foundation gives back to the community by strategically funding nonprofit organizations, activities and projects that directly improve the lives of the citizens in Southern Indiana. We believe that matching loans through the Kiva City program in Clark County will result in the growth of small businesses and economic prosperity throughout the region. The Kiva Zip platform is an innovation that helps local economy.
The Community Foundation of Louisville is the largest charitable foundation in Kentucky with over $448 million in assets and more than 1,370 different funds, each with a charitable purpose defined by the donor. In 2015, the Community Foundation made over 10,500 grants totaling $49 million to local, national and international nonprofits.
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Below are some examples of health-driven entrepreneurs we've supported in the past.
BAREfit Adventure Training is a holistic fitness company, anchored in Rob's passion for the by-gone days of making the outdoors your playground. It uses re-purposed, up-cycled, and reclaimed equipment to create unique, fun and effective real-world workouts.
Distinctive Workout Boutique is Louisville's only hip hop spin gym. Deleskia started teaching fitness while deployed overseas and made it her second career once she retired from the military.
The Weekly Juicery is a quickly growing empire! Owner Kimmye offers cold-pressed juice and superfood smoothies in several retail locations and through delivery.
BAREfit Adventure Training
Distinctive Workout Boutique
The Weekly Juicery
Below are some examples of entertainment-oriented entrepreneurs we've supported in the past.
Good Garbage is a creative reuse center, a non-profit operating as a retail store where Lynn helps educators and others find fun materials saved from landfills and incorporate them into artwork and play.
MoJo Entertainment is a full service event company run by Joe, the DJ with an MBA. He'll source any act that's needed, from jugglers to models to comedians.
Idlewild Butterfly Farm is the place to get up close to all kinds of exotic insects. Blair, an entomologist, offers tours of the flight house, where customers can feed the butterflies.
Good Garbage, Inc.
Idlewild Butterfly Farm
Photo by Tim Harris