Microfinance at Berkeley
Who We Are
We are a UC Berkeley student-run nonprofit group that supports small businesses and entrepreneurship in the local Bay Area. While we each have different academic backgrounds, we are all passionate about creating a sustainable economy and supporting the local businesses through microfinance.
What We Do
Microfinance at Berkeley is a Kiva Trustee that facilitates access to 0% interest loans of up to $10,000 for small businesses in the Bay Area. In addition, we also provide a wide variety of services like business planning and social media consulting to help businesses in any way we can. We are currently the number one Kiva Trustee in Berkeley, having endorsed 7 businesses since its founding in 2012.
For those not looking for a Kiva loan, we also provide small business consulting services.
Why We Do It
Berkeley has the largest wealth gap in the Bay Area, according to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
20% live in poverty
13% are underbanked (limited access to financial resources)
5% are unbanked (have no access to banking services)
22% live in poverty
More than 19% are underbanked
11% are unbanked
Larger microfinance institutions on the Bay Area that seek to help this population typically offer loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 with interest rates from 8-12%. However, our unique partnership with Kiva enables us to help entrepreneurs who have limited to no credit histories, do not qualify for bank loans, or may not be able to afford a high interest rate. Our goal is to provide the resources needed for our borrowers to succeed, whether it be through the Kiva platform or through our consulting services.