Interested in helping minority and women entrepreneurs secure a microloan to launch or grow a business? You can do so this Small Business Week, May 2-6. The Umpqua Bank Loan Fund is a crowdfunding program with the nonprofit Kiva. They will multiply every dollar contributed 10 times for eligible entrepreneurs in Oregon, Washington, California and Idaho. Donations vary in size starting at $25, and anyone interested in contributing can visit www.kiva.org/team/umpquabank to learn more and donate.
Umpqua established its $1 million loan fund with Kiva earlier this year to help underserved entrepreneurs access no-cost microloans. Any entrepreneur with “social capital”—the support of family, friends or community—can qualify to set a funding goal and raise contributions on Kiva’s platform. Kiva then combines total contributions into a 0 percent interest loan up to $15,000 that’s paid back to funders over time.
Thoughts from leaders
Eve Callahan is Umpqua’s Chief Marketing Communications Officer who oversees the bank’s partnership with Kiva. She says Umpqua is leveraging Kiva’s innovative crowdfunding platform. It focuses on storytelling to create connections between aspiring entrepreneurs and ordinary people, leading to diversified community investment and prosperity.
“Umpqua recognized a unique opportunity to partner with Kiva to combine community and capital. Through the Umpqua Bank Loan Fund, we’re creating a platform for entrepreneurs to share their stories and connect directly with people looking for opportunities to contribute to economic opportunity and justice,” said Callahan. “Recognizing the incredible importance of small businesses to our local communities and economies, we’re increasing our match to celebrate Small Business Week. We hope others will join us in helping entrepreneurs across the West Coast continue to grow by contributing any amount, small or large, that we’ll match 10 times.”
Since launching earlier this year, the Umpqua Bank Loan Fund has matched community members’ contributions 3:1. They funded more than $400,000 in microloans that have fully financed the needs of more than 80 BIPOC or women entrepreneurs.
Umpqua Loan Fund Open to Entrepreneurs
Eligible entrepreneurs in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho can apply for Umpqua’s matching program by visiting the Umpqua-Kiva partnership page. The initial application process typically takes between 20 and 30 minutes.
The Fund in Action
Umpqua’s loan fund has already provided microloan funding to entrepreneurs across the West Coast, including:
- Oregon: equipped an immigrant family business that buys and sells artisanal goods from Mexico to diversify and expand its inventory.
- California: helped a women owned clothing business gain access to the quality inventory needed to sustain and relaunch the brand. Also financed a non-profit helping youth avoid gun violence through positive alternatives and programs.
- Washington: provided a creative wedding photographer with the funding needed to purchase equipment and space to expand his business.
Entrepreneurs across Umpqua’s footprint continue seeking funding for accelerated access to crowdfunded microloans of varying amounts. Their stories and how they will use the capital can be found at www.kiva.org/team/umpquabank/loans.
About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation. It has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the 17th consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank also owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to businesses.
Kiva is a global nonprofit that brings people together to invest in lasting impact. Kiva connects individuals, institutional investors and corporations with global opportunities. They invest in humanity when and where it will make the greatest collective impact. With just $25, you can help women, refugees and small businesses across the globe build a better future for individuals, their families and communities. Join two million people who have invested $1.7 billion in real dreams and real opportunity around the world.
Check out more funding opportunities here on Lioness