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Kiva, mostly known for connecting lenders with business owners in developing countries, partnered with ACCION USA and Opportunity Fund a year ago to help entrepreneurs in the U.S. get the micro-loans they need to grow their business. Visa has recently decided to get into the mix by donating $1 million dollars reports the San Francisco Business Times.

San Francisco-based Kiva will use the $1 million from Visa, another San Francisco company, to raise awareness of micro-lending in this country.

Kiva Founder Premal Shah said that 20 million American small businesses lack commercial credit histories and therefore can’t access money they need to grow. Kiva has 350,000 Twitter followers and 1.5 million people log onto its website every month. It now will create a landing page on its site to teach small businesses about microfinance and to connect them to lenders.

Shah said that whenever a U.S. entrepreneur is featured on Kiva’s website, he or she is funded quickly. There is more demand to lend to American small businesses than there are entrepreneurs seeking micro-loans, and Shah hopes this grant helps change that dynamic.

Image from Kiva

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Originally posted by Angela Shupe on October 20, 2010 in Ideas.

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