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Fully Funded Kiva Loans and Success Stories

WBDC’s Kiva borrowers are doing amazing things! See below for a few stories about some of our fully-funded entrepreneurs. To learn more about this initiative, please read our formal press release.

To learn more about how your business can receive a Kiva Loan and be part of our Hub community visit their website!

Lydia Endora standing among racks of clothing and mannequins

Business Name: Lydia Endora
Kiva Loan: $5,000
Lydia Thompson, owner of online boutique Lydia Endora, has been an established business owner over the past seven years. When the pandemic started, Lydia needed additional capital to scale marketing efforts that would increase the already high demand for her athleisure line. Kiva’s crowdfunding platform allowed her to keep cashflow, pay invoices and strategize properly to meet the increased demand.

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Barbara sitting in front of a wooden wall and behind an office desk

Business Name: The Better Hair LLC
Kiva Loan: $8,500
Barbara Ameyedowo, owner of Hutzyhair LLC (The Better Hair). Braiding hair has been synonymous with her identity – the family stylist – so it made sense for her to pivot from working in Washington, D.C. as a data analyst to becoming an entrepreneur. Kiva’s zero-interest, zero-fee loans, allowed Barbara to create her website, purchase containers for hair products, and launch her business properly.

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Manvee standing in a warehouse space with a wooden display of her product

Business Name: TerraKlay
Kiva Loan:$10,000
WBDC’s support and Hub presence was critical to my success with Kiva. It was perfect timing that I was seeking funding and they became a Hub! Becoming fully funded with Kiva US Loans gave me a sense of financial security for my business. I not only was able to strengthen my borrowing potential and creditworthiness but I was also able to bring awareness to my business as well as its impact on the artisan industry. Another benefit to crowdfunding a loan with Kiva is the increased exposure and online engagement – one of my lenders actually converted into a buying customer! “Absolutely beautiful! This is my new favorite mug! It has a nice, smooth finish. So glad I discovered you on Kiva! Thank you!” (Casey French, wrote a review about Freckled Small White Mug) If someone asked me Should I apply for a Kiva US loan? I would say, Go for it! The community-based lending component truly causes a positive ripple effect and is a concrete solution within the lending ecosystem for entrepreneurs.

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Jordan wearing a safety helmet and vest standing with his arms outspread in front of a van

Kiva Loan: $15,000
QT EXPRESS TRANS LLC has been in operation since 2018. We have government contracts with the US Post Office and conduct freight transportation. During the pandemic, the WBDC was part of my research to get connected with business resources in order to grow and maintain sustainability. “One of the biggest challenges I faced was accessing capital. I am a repeat borrower through the Kiva micro-lending program and this year I was approved and fundraised for $15,000. The loan has been incredibly helpful for my business, I was able to hire 2 full-time employees, purchase equipment, and pay for marketing expenses. The WBDC Hub played an instrumental role in providing the 1:1 support that helped yield success – it would not have been possible without their assistance. I would tell any entrepreneur or business owner that is seeking capital, Kiva is an excellent first step and a great starting point to build their borrowing potential.

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Robin posing showing off her abs in a gym

Business Name: Qodosh Naturals Inc
Kiva Loan: $2,500
With the Kiva loan, I have been able to pay for marketing expenses which is highly beneficial to expand the infrastructure of my business. The access to capital through the Kiva program aids in further growth and expansion to continue to provide a service that isn’t readily available within my community. Furthermore, Kiva has a strong network and support system, something I haven’t seen before in the lending ecosystem for small businesses. Through the 1:1 advising and resources WBDC has been able to offer I can put the valuable guidance to action yielding success now and in the future.

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Mamie posing in her kitchen with her book and chicken on a cutting board and vegetables in bowls

Business Name: Mamie’s Chickens Cutlery
Kiva Loan: $3,000
Attaining a Kiva loan has helped my business immensely. I was able to hire an engineer and designer to begin the development of my chicken cutlery prototype. After persevering through the pandemic it was incredible to see Kiva’s lending community contribute to my campaign including individuals that I did not know personally – it rekindled my faith and inspires me to know there are people who believe in my business. Additionally, Kiva has provided increased exposure and it also created excellent networking opportunities.

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Maya standing in front of a Moble Makers truck

Business Name: Chicago Mobile Makers
Kiva Loan: $10,000
Chicago Mobile Makers creates programming that encourages Chicago youth to become advocates and change-makers in their own communities through design-focused skill-building workshops. The Kiva loan provided us with the capital to build out a physical location to conduct our services workshops. The access to capital yielded peace of mind financially for our organization. I am also a repeat borrower, therefore the process to apply and fundraise was seamless. The loan will make a big difference and impact on the community we serve – I definitely recommend Kiva’s micro-lending program to other Non-Profit leaders given the low risk and 0% interest benefits.

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Two nurses holding phones showing the Nurse at Your Side app

Business Name: Nurse At Your Side
Kiva Loan: $3,500
The injection of capital from our Kiva loan was tremendously helpful. We were able to buy specific equipment and pay for marketing to increase awareness for our business. Additionally, through public fundraising on the Kiva platform, we were able to build trust, one of the challenges we are overcoming while operating a mobile app to provide health services. I have shared Kiva and the WBDC with already 7 entrepreneurs, and I am able to believe in myself as much as the lending community believes in US small businesses – the support has been overwhelming in the most positive way. We especially appreciated the opportunity to communicate with our lenders and illustrate the impact of their contributions. Furthermore, the WBDC was instrumental as well, guiding us through the process, and having a contact person at the Hub is extremely valuable.

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Tina standing next to a rack of wedding dresses

Business Name: Grace and Ivory Co.
Kiva Loan: $5,500

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Veronica in her clothing store

Business Name: Moda Simonett
Kiva Loan: $4,500Everyone has the right to access the opportunities as a small business and an organization like the WBDC made those resources and opportunities available. I was able to receive 1:1 advising, that has been invaluable, without fear or judgement. I recommend to all small business owners – use the resources that are available to you. My experience with the WBDC has not only enhanced my business acumen but I am 10 times more comfortable with technology today than I ever was before.

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Nina posing with bags of gourmet popcorn

Business Name: Gerdy’s Gourmet Popcorn
Kiva Loan: $8,500

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Bridgett posing in an office at a computer

Business Name: Upgrade Sales Consulting LLC
Kiva Loan: $6,000
The Kiva loan has been a huge boost for my newly established consulting firm in two keys areas:
First, by allowing us o continue building a strong foundation for the firm. We are better positioned for success because we were able to hire the help we needed. Starting a business is not easy and starting one with a shaky foundation makes it that much harder for
the business to achieve success beyond the first one to three years. Second, the Kiva loan has helped to establish our firm as a
credible business to invest in. Startups like Upgrade Sales Consulting LLC have limited options for access to capital.  Having access to a Kiva loan has been amazing and we hope to position our firm for future funding opportunities by building on support the Kiva loan has provided. The support WBDC and the dedicated Kiva Contact was hands down the most valuable. There’s so much small businesses like mine have to do already having a dedicated person and Team at the WBDC to walk us through the process was priceless.  The mentors and everyone at the WBDC have been tremendously supportive and encouraging. They’ve understood and understand this journey and I can’t imagine starting this journey without their support leadership and guidance. I tell everyone I can about the organization.

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Lynn posing in a kitchen wearing an apron

Business Name: BPM Biscotti LLC
Kiva Loan: $8,500

BPM Biscotti started as a cottage industry and now operates out of a professional, suburban kitchen. They make lovely biscotti without preservatives and make their extracts and curds, roast and chop their own nuts, and design innovative biscotti flavor combinations that won’t send you to the dentist. This Kiva loan is providing timely funds to renew licenses, purchase additional supplies for expanding customer base, and will allow them to maintain our equipment. The additional security of having some extra money in the bank is priceless for Lynn’s business. They will be able to create more marketing materials and update software for design and marketing purposes. The Kiva loan is allowing them to breathe and grow. Having the ability to put marketing materials together to expand their reach, research new products to attract un-tapped customers, and set up for success is the greatest gift from a Kiva loan.

Lynn says, “The WBDC helped me create a proper business plan and supporting spread sheets, to see how to be truly profitable, and organize my priorities so BPM takes solid steps in the proper direction.” When discussing the essence of fundraising and crowdfunding the Kiva loan Lynn stated, “Do not underestimate the support and help you can receive from your customers, family, and friends.  As a small business owner, your business is You, so putting yourself out there is scary.  But if you have a solid idea, and can support and articulate it properly through the Kiva process, success is at-hand! I cannot fully express the gratitude we feel in regard to getting this loan.  Everyone at WBDC has been so helpful in the process.  It gives BPM the added confidence to accomplish our goals and the resources to actually begin!”

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