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Media Release


Self-Help Offers Creative New Loan Program to Help Traditionally Underserved Borrowers

It takes a village - unique microfinancing program enables women and minority-owned small businesses to receive loans up to $15K

Mar 25, 2021

[Charlotte, NC | March 22, 2021] — On Monday, March 22, 2021, Self-Help Credit Union, (www.self-help.org) begins an exciting program that expands safe and affordable loan options for small business borrowers who may not have access to traditional resources.  Through a partnership with the cities of Salisbury and Statesville and Livingstone College we are able to offer a creative new way for women and businesses owned by people of color to finance loans up to $15,000.

Now traditionally underserved small dollar borrowers can get the resources and access to financial capital they need to help grow their businesses, which in turn can help strengthen the communities we serve. Many of these borrowers would be unable to get loans from traditional funding sources, particularly because loans under $25,000 may be difficult to secure.

The loans are made possible through Kiva Piedmont North Carolina, a microfinancing platform that builds on partnerships between local governments, small business and their surrounding neighborhoods to expand their impact.

Interested borrowers should apply at kiva.com/borrow. If approved, borrowers in Charlotte, Salisbury, Statesville, and other nearby areas of North Carolina will be able to benefit from matching dollar-for-dollar grants from the city government.

“We are excited to partner with the Cities of Salisbury and Statesville in their efforts to support minority and women owned small businesses as that’s a focus area of ours already,” explains Claudie Johnson, Self-Help Credit Union city executive for the Charlotte, NC region. “Being able to leverage the Kiva platform will enable us to assist even more small businesses as our minimum loan is $25,000.”

“Economic vitality for all Salisburians is one of the key tenets of Salisbury City Council,” said Salisbury Mayor Karen K. Alexander. “The local Kiva business loan program allows for a financially-inclusive world where everyone has the power to improve their lives through means where they have been traditionally shut out. Our matching funds initiative demonstrates to residents that their small-business goals are accessible, attainable and actionable. Kiva is a perfect opportunity to empower micro-entrepreneurs and minority and women-owned businesses.”

“Statesville is excited to bring this immensely important program to our citizens,” states Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh. “Our partnership with Kiva, Self-Help and the City of Salisbury will help provide more opportunities to meet the challenges for historically underutilized businesses.” 

Livingstone College hopes to provide assistance to Self-Help and therefore to potential borrowers, involving business school students with faculty support. Teague said he is excited about the possibility of Livingstone College business students working with Self-Help in the Kiva program. The students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the business world in a way that benefits the underserved, a concept that coincides with the mission of Livingstone College as an HBCU.

“I am thrilled to see this initiative come to fruition. Much time and effort has gone into the process of getting to this point,” Teague said. “Thanks, especially, to David Post, who has been the primary leader of this effort. The two of us and many others want to see under-resourced and underserved communities have access to capital. Kiva will not be all things to all people, but it will make a difference to some small businesses in being able to survive, grow and thrive.”

Founded in 2005, Kiva is a San Francisco-based international nonprofit that enables individual to crowdfund loans – enabling greater access to capital and financial services.

Self-Help, headquartered in Durham, NC, is one of the largest community development financial institutions in the nation.  Since 1980, Self-Help has provided more than $9.3 billion in financing to over 175,700 families, families, individuals and businesses. We help drive economic development and strengthen communities by providing responsible financial services; lending to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits; developing real estate; and promoting fair financial practices across the nation. Through our credit union network, Self-Help serves more than 167,000 people in California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

More information about Self-Help Credit Union can be found at self-help.org.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For More Information, Contact:

Jenny Shields, Director of Media Relations, Self-Help Credit Union Direct Line: 919.794.6798  Cell: 919.695.2037 Email: Jenny.Shields@self-help.org

Related Images

  • Kiva Capital