Photo credit: NYC Department of Small Business Services

Since its launch less than a year ago, more than 100 NY women entrepreneurs have obtained loans through the city’s partnership with the crowdfunding platform Kiva.

A crowdfunding initiative launched by the city aims to support women entrepreneurs by helping them to raise loans of up to $10,000.

The initiative WE Fund: Crowd, a partnership with the nonprofit crowdfunding platform Kiva, has helped over 100 New Yorkers access more than $600,000 in 0-percent interest loans since its launch in November 2017, announced Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop on Friday.

“While 70 percent of women entrepreneurs seek only $10,000 or less when launching a business, securing affordable and reliable capital can be immensely challenging,” said Gregg Bishop, commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “With over 100 loans to date, WE Fund: Crowd is a successful solution that will continue to support the nearly 359,000 women entrepreneurs who contribute to our city’s local economy.”

We Fund: Crowd first launched in 2017.
From left: Serra Kazanc, Kiva NYC Growth; Truc Nguyen, founder of Better Beast; Mona Birjeeb, owner of Safari Restaurant; Alicia Glen, NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development; Allison Mounsey, founder of Jaim ANMCreations. Photo: John Barragan /Courtesy of WE NYC

The good news was shared during a tour of Brooklyn Quality Eats, a meal-prep delivery service that found a lack of awareness about its product to be its biggest challenge and secured a $10,000 loan through WE Fund: Crowd to boost its advertising. The business operates out of PilotWorks, a Brooklyn-based food incubator.

WE Fund: Crowd is part of WE NYC, a women’s entrepreneurship initiative launched by the Department of Small Business Services. Through WE Fund, the city contributes up to $1,000, or the first 10 percent, of a fundraising goal with no-interest repayment terms for up to 42 months. In addition, private corporations can also help women crowdfund loans through Kiva which works with public, private and nonprofit partners to help borrowers achieve their goals through grants, loan matching, and employee and customer engagement programs.

“That WE Fund: Crowd has exceeded the 100-loan mark in under a year is a powerful demonstration of broad and deep public support for women entrepreneurs,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. ”As this program grows, NYC will benefit from jobs growth, a stronger start-up economy and more women-run businesses across sectors.”

For more information on WE Fund: Crowd, visit we.nyc.

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