Economic Equity Work in Action
FORGE Community Loan Fund and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation entered into a joint partnership with Kiva US to establish Kiva Little Rock, an entrepreneurial startup hub that aims to help underserved entrepreneurs and small business owners in Central Arkansas gain access to capital. Through the support of the Hub, small businesses can access zero percent interest, crowdfunded capital ranging from $1,000-$15,000.
DIVERSE LEADERSHIP AT THE HELM
The Little Rock Kiva Hub is led by Capital Access Manager Itzel Velazquez who also serves as a Little Rock Business Consultant for Conexion de Negocios Latinos (Latinx Business Connections) where she provides support to Latinx business owners. Her professional background includes several nonprofits in Arkansas, where she focused on educational equity and immigrants’ rights advocacy.
MEET KIVA LITTLE ROCK’S FIRST BORROWER
Whitney Dobbins, owner of Girly Girls Mobile Spa and More LLC, was Kiva Little Rock’s first borrower. Dobbin’s business has been open for three years. She secured a microloan for $4,000 through Kiva Little Rock for her business where she provides mentorship and helps develop high self esteem through creative play for youth.
Girly Girls Mobile Spa and More LLC is located in North Little Rock, AR. Girly Girls LR is empowered to bring about self-awareness, high esteem, and self-love. Girly Girls has been in operation for three years; our target audience is youth between 3 – 10 years of age. Girly Girls has a diverse background for various themed events, including birthday parties and showers, personalized snacks, t-shirts, wood leaning boards, and much more for all genders and ages. Dobbins strives for each guest to have memorable moments with family and friends who mean the most to them.
Dobbins will use the KIVA loan to scale the services she currently offers with a goal to host at least four events per month.
The best form of support for Kiva Little Rock is to become a lender and support another small business owner!