10 steps to raising an interest free loan on Kiva NYC

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If you are a NYC entrepreneur, startup or business owner and you are looking to raise $10,000 or less in 30 days, Kiva is your answer. Kiva is a debt crowdfunding platform that provides interest free loans up to $10,000 for entrepreneurs and business owners in NYC. You heard me right, interest FREE. You can learn more about Kiva here or you can jump straight to how to get started on Kiva below.


  1. Visit Kiva.org and set up an account

    Set up an account on Kiva using Facebook or your email.

  2. Setup a PayPal account

    Set up a Paypal account if you don’t already have one. Kiva uses PayPal to send money to borrowers/business owners after they raise their loan.

  3. Complete Kiva’s loan application

    The loan application helps Kiva to understand more about you, your business, how much money you are looking to raise and the purpose of the loan. The application includes a few questions on your personal and business background, loan request, and your personal and business financial condition (i.e. income, expenses, debt, credit score)

  4. Create a campaign

    To market and raise money from your audience and the Kiva community of lenders, you have to create a campaign, which includes your personal and business story, a detailed outline of how the money will be used, and a picture or video of you, the borrower.

  5. Wait for Kiva’s feedback

    After submitting your application and campaign, Kiva will review it and get back to you within 10-15 business days with more information and next steps. Their feedback and next steps will include things that you need to do to tighten up your application and campaign if needed. They will also outline how much money you can raise on their platform, how long you will have to pay back the loan (6-36 months), and how many lenders from your own network that you will need to have before they can open your campaign up to the larger Kiva community of over 1.5M lenders (see step 7)

  6. Develop a marketing strategy

    While waiting to hear back from Kiva, start developing and executing a marketing strategy to let your audience and the world know about your fundraising campaign. Make sure to include email. social media, and making phone calls as a part of your strategy.

  7.  Raise money from your audience first

    Once your campaign is ready to go live, you will go through a private fundraising phase, where you will have 15 days to raise money from a predetermined number of people/lenders in your own network, which is determined by Kiva. The purpose of the private fundraising phase is to prove your creditworthiness. Kiva wants to ensure that your personal network trusts you by lending you as little as $25 before going on to the next phase, where lenders from around the world can lend to your campaign.

  8. Go public and raise money from Kiva’s global community of lenders

    Once you meet your private fundraising goal, Kiva will open your campaign up to their global network of more than 1.5M lenders to view and lend to your campaign, where you will have 30 days to raise any additional money to hit your funding goal.

  9. Get paid

    When you reach your funding goal, Kiva will send you the money that your raised almost instantaneously on Paypal.  

  10. Pay back your loan

    Depending on the agreement of your interest free loan with Kiva, you will have 6-36 months to pay back the lenders who supported your campaign. You, the borrower, pays Kiva monthly monthly and they will handle the backend to ensure that all of your lenders are paid back in full.


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