The best way to learn about Kiva loans is to go to http://www.kiva.org and read the information there, Make a careful study of what others are doing in order to get loans. Make sure you understand exactly how things work and what you have to do to present your project.
Kiva is a crowd funding site. People lend as little as $12.50 which they can assign to any project advertised there they deem worthy. The borrower advertises their project and people put money into it until the amount of the loan needed is raised. The borrower agrees to pay back the loan over a period of time. Then those who have contributed get their money back. The loans are given through assigned centers and the need vetted by trustees. If you cannot get an ordinary bank loan this is a good way to get funding as you do not need a credit check or credit history.
Here are 11 suggestions to help you get a loan quickly.
- Make a clear business plan
- Write your project up well
- Make your project attractive
- Ask for a reasonable size loan
- Don’t be afraid to advertise
- Update people on how things are going
- Advertise locally as well as Internationally
- Build as much trust as you can
- Form a Co-op
- Don’t give up after a slow start
Be clear what you want and why. It is good sense to make a simple business plan and be able to show people why you need the money and how you intend to earn enough to pay it back. Looking organized will attract people who want to invest in your venture. This could be as simple as I need to buy a cow because my cow died. I only have one cow now so I can only grow half the coffee beans I used to. I need X amount for a cow. I can earn Y amount with two cows in X number of months and repay the loan in Y months. This will also help you think about what you really need. I hope these pointers will speed up how quickly you succeed in getting your loan.
Make sure you write your project up clearly and well. Make a study of those already asking for money on the Kiva website and take not of what the projects that are doing well in getting funding are doing. If people understand what you need and why, then they are more likely to fund your project. Keep the write up short and direct and clear.
3 Use a good photo to accompany your project write up
Make sure you include a photo with all those involved in your project and anything there is to see that you have already done. People are more likely to be interested if they can see there are real people and real places involved.
Remember that your project can be made attractive to investors. You may only need a cow so that you can grow twice as many coffee beans, but think about how that will affect other people. Will you be able to help your local economy because if you grow more beans, you will need people to help you harvest them? Will this lead to other things? Make sure you include this when you present your project.
Be very clear and concise about the amount of money you need. Projects can fail because they are too ambitious. Choose a reasonable target. You may find you can expand again later.
Don’t be afraid to advertise. You want the maximum number of investors in the minimum amount of time. If you have access to the Internet make use of Facebook and twitter and anywhere else you can find to advertise. Tell people why you need the money and make sure they understand they will get any money they invest back after a specified period of time. Don’t forget that the more people who know about Kiva the more investors there will be for all projects so you will also be helping the organization.
Update your Facebook page, if you can create one, on a day to day basis and make sure you add as many friends as you can. Talk about your project in the church or mosque or coffee shop. Make sure they know they too could get involved. Don’t just talk about the project once, talk about it on an ongoing basis as some people tend to wait to see if they want to be involved. Do this on the Kiva site as well
Advertise locally where people can see what you want to do and talk about it. If you can, make some flyers and make sure you have a good photo of the project and all who are involved in it, Be clear and specific. Say you need to raise x amount of money by a certain date and what for and also when the loans will be paid back.
Remember that Kiva is based on trust. Whatever your project try and get those you know and who trust you involved. Make sure that you tell them what you are doing and how the website works. People may not be able to lend all you need for your project, but they may have a little money they are willing to lend as they know you and feel sure they will get it back.
If you are a group rather than an individual then form a co-operative and make each person equally responsible for repaying the loan. This will reassure everyone as the social pressure of keeping up repayments is shared
Update people on how the project is going even if you have not yet secured the loan. It may help if people see you are putting hard work in on the ground.