SoCal Connected on KCET

Microloans Keep L.A. Entrepreneurs Happy

Every once in a while, small business owners need a helping hand to get their business up and running. That's where Kiva comes in.

Kiva is an internationally-acclaimed nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting struggling entrepreneurs with microloans to help grow and maintain their small businesses.

Since 2005, Kiva has helped distribute millions of dollars in needy countries with the assistance of key lenders and microfinance institutions. In 2012, it expanded its global mission by connecting potential lenders with entrepreneurs in Los Angeles.

Maria Ramirez, a small business owner of a party store in San Fernando, recalls being forced to borrow money from shady owners at a high interest. To add to the stress, Ramirez couldn't qualify for a regular bank loan because her credit was unhealthy. Kiva has helped Ramirez and countless other L.A. entrepreneurs rebuild and maintain their small businesses with microloans starting as little as $500 to $10,000.

In this 2012 "SoCal Connected" story, Jennifer London speaks with entrepreneurs and microloan experts to find out more about the struggles and triumphs of maintaining and growing a small business.

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