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Umpqua Bank Deploys $1 Million in Microloans to BIPOC and Women Entrepreneurs through Innovative Kiva Partnership

Umpqua Bank Deploys $1 Million in Microloans to BIPOC and Women Entrepreneurs through Innovative Kiva Partnership

Umpqua’s crowdfunding partnership with Kiva inspired more than 10,000 community members to help entrepreneurs in OregonWashingtonCalifornia, and Idaho start or grow business

Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, announced that its innovative crowdfunding partnership with Kiva has reached the initial goal of deploying $1 million in microloans. Since April, the Umpqua Bank Loan Fund has supported nearly 200 BIPOC and women entrepreneurs, addressing a critical gap in access to funding for many small business owners.

Umpqua established its $1 million loan fund with Kiva earlier this year as part of its Small Business Empowerment Program to accelerate the ability of underserved entrepreneurs to access microloans offering 0% interest. Umpqua’s loan fund matched contributions from thousands of individual funders 3:1 for eligible entrepreneurs in OregonWashingtonCalifornia, and Idaho.

“Creative partnerships with organizations like Kiva are critical to expanding the funding ecosystem for small businesses so more entrepreneurs can access the capital and resources needed to succeed,” said Eve CallahanUmpqua’s chief marketing communications officer. “In just a few months, our Umpqua Bank Loan Fund through Kiva has helped nearly 200 under-resourced entrepreneurs access early-stage capital that’s so important in starting and growing a small business.”

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“We join the team at Umpqua in celebrating this incredible milestone, which we achieved far more quickly than we’d initially expected,” said Tess Murphy, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Kiva. “It’s innovative partnerships like these that enable Kiva to continue growing our impact, allowing us to reach even more entrepreneurs with critical access to funding. We’re grateful to work with Umpqua to address the funding gaps for small business owners.”

The Fund in Action

To date, 185 business owners have been supported through the fund, which matched loans crowdfunded by more than 10,200 people across the globe. The businesses supported by Umpqua-matched loans represent a range of sectors including the service industry, food, retail, health, agriculture, education, arts and entertainment, and more. The average loan amount across all borrowers so far has been $8,300. The Umpqua Bank Loan Fund replenishes as loans are repaid, multiplying the bank’s initial $1 million commitment.

Of the 185 businesses supported through the Umpqua Bank Loan Fund:

  • 60% were directed to women business owners
  • 42% were directed to Black and African American business owners
  • 22% were directed to Latine and Hispanic business owners
  • 32% have been in operation for three years or more
  • 26% have been in operation for one year

Businesses supported by Umpqua and Kiva partnership

A representation of the businesses supported by the Umpqua Bank Loan Fund include:
  • Sibeiho, based in Portland, OR, a Singaporean food startup co-founded by Holly Ong and Pat Lau
  • In Focus Productions, based in Lakewood, WA, a Veteran and Black-owned photo and videography production company founded by Darwin Peters and Shartrice Peters
  • Serenity Valley Flower Farm, based in Gig Harbor, WA, a black woman-owned and operated sustainable floral microfarm founded by Susanne Bell
  • Blynd Essence, Inc, based in Fresno, CA, which provides affordable shared housing for individuals with mental illness and financial hardship, founded by Rizpah Bellard
  • Umi Organic, based in Portland, OR, which produces delicious Japanese food products through organic farming methods, founded by Lola Milholland

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How Kiva works

Through Kiva, anyone can help support and grow small businesses and promote local job creation by visiting and choosing an entrepreneur they want to support with a loan of $25 or more. Entrepreneurs apply directly to Kiva’s U.S. site to fundraise on the platform and are connected to millions of Kiva lenders. It also enables local lenders to make direct loans to entrepreneurs in their neighborhoods. Small business loans crowdfunded through Kiva U.S. are offered at 0% interest with no fees and available to borrowers who may be rejected or underserved by traditional lenders.

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