Tag Archive: Kiva

  1. Press Release: Build Institute continues growth, leaving DDP to become its own autonomous 501c3

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    DETROIT – Continuing a year of monumental growth, Build Institute, an incubator for small Detroit businesses, will separate from the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) and becoming an autonomous 501c3 starting January 1. Build Institute helps individuals turn business ideas into reality by providing tools, resources and a support network made up of small and aspiring business owners in Detroit.

    In a little over five years, Build has made a strong economic impact in Detroit, helping over 450 businesses, which have created and/or retained 1,000 jobs in Michigan. Since its inception in January 2012, Build has graduated over 1,300 entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs from across the city, state and the Midwest.

    “The success of the Institute is possible only because of the dedication and drive of the entrepreneurs and creators in our city,” said April Boyle, director, Build Institute. “As we take this next step, we have the opportunity to offer more support to the community and align all our efforts to continued economic growth in Detroit, by Detroiters.”

    Earlier this year, Build Institute made another big step as it adopted Detroit SOUP, the Institute’s ninth program and the third program that the Institute has adopted, sustained and grown since 2012, including Kiva – a funding source for small business – and Open City – the longest running networking program for Detroit entrepreneurs. Detroit SOUP is a micro-granting dinner funding project that aligns with the Institute’s mission to launch ideas and grow businesses. Detroit SOUP’s next event will take place on Sunday, November 19 at the Jam Handy, located at 2900 E. Grand Blvd.

    Expansion into Oakland County

    Beyond the Institute’s milestone year, Build is also expanding its services beyond Detroit’s borders.  Through 2018 the organization will provide programming to the city of Ferndale, including the first-ever Ferndale SOUP, which will be held in the Rust Belt Market, Open City events and GROW peer roundtables.

    In addition, Build Institute is working with the city of Pontiac to bring Build programs to the city to help support recipients of the Big Idea Grant Program and help build Pontiac’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Pontiac’s Big Idea grant program will provide several awards to businesses in Pontiac that have ideas to grow or businesses to expand.

    “We see Build Institute’s expansion and growth as a true testament to the program’s sustainability,” said Eric Larson, CEO, DDP. “The DDP takes great pride is watching Build branch out and become its own independent non-profit and we wish the entire Build team luck as they continue their meaningful work throughout the city.”

    Build Institute evolved from D:Hive  Detroit, a three year project launched in 2012 that helped Detroiters and visitors alike get the information they needed to live, work, engage or build a business in the city. In 2015, Build Institute was born, and in January, five short years later, the organization will celebrate becoming its own independent non-profit, shedding its affiliate status from the DDP.


    About Build Institute

    Build Institute is an idea activator and small business accelerator that helps people turn their business ideas into reality by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and support network in Detroit. Build Institute has graduated over 1,200 aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs from classes based on national standards for entrepreneurship excellence. With support from the New Economy Initiative and Rock Venture, Build strives to be a nurturing organization that advances the culture and sustainability of community entrepreneurship. www.buildinstitute.org.

    PDF Copy: Build Institute – 501c3 Announcement

  2. The Importance of Financial Literacy for Micro-Businesses

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    The need for financial literacy is clear in both our personal lives and in business, but perhaps the highest stakes for personal financial adeptness is in micro-business. Build Institute defines a micro-business as a small company, usually made up of less than five employees. These ultra-small operations often rely on one or two key individuals to make decisions that affect every aspect of the business.

    With that, micro-business entrepreneurs have to know their business and it’s financials inside and out. Unfortunately, too many of them are operating with poor or incomplete numbers, or even worse — operating in the dark.

    It sounds incredible, but it is common for business owners to rely on an external bookkeeper or accounting professional during tax season, while lacking a personal understanding of the business’s financial health. Until a company is large enough to hire a chief financial officer, the owners should assume that role to the fullest.

    Once an entrepreneur understands the finances as well as an accounting professional, the right time to inject working capital into the operation will become clear. Sometimes that cushion is needed when sales are taking off and there just isn’t enough inventory or staff to meet demand. Other times unexpected or unfortunate events (which are part of the process) may decrease sales, require costly legal help, or can otherwise rain on your money-making parade.

    Regardless of the reason for a cushion, a business owner that’s comfortable diving into financial statements, unit economics, and projections will be prepared to make the difficult financial decisions that drive their business forward.

    When the time comes to inject cash, entrepreneurs should consider all of their options. For some micro-business owners, Kiva is a great place to start. Kiva offers crowdfunded micro-loans of up to $10k with 0% interest, no fees, and reasonable repayment terms. The process for applying and borrowing through Kiva is far less complicated than dealing with traditional means of financing and the often prohibitive requirements that leave so many small businesses to fend for themselves.

    Regardless if Kiva is the right fit for your business, the point is that micro-business entrepreneurs must be financially adept. They must know the health of their business in order to know when outside help is needed. When it is time for help, they have to evaluate every opportunity against the reality within their operation. The future of the business depends on it!

  3. Kiva Zip Detroit Update

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    We’re delighted to announce that after four years of exciting growth and inspiring impact in and around Detroit, Kiva Zip is graduating out of beta! This means that our Kiva Zip loans will be moving to the main Kiva.org website. Merging Kiva Zip into the main Kiva website will make it possible for us to expand Kiva’s impact in communities across metro Detroit, while continuing to grow our international network of borrowers and lenders.

    There are several reasons for this change, but mainly, it is to streamline the application process. Currently Kiva Zip lenders have separate Kiva Zip and Kiva.org accounts. This can create confusion and hassle for these lenders. When Kiva Zip loans move to Kiva.org, accounts will be combined into one, and Kiva lenders will be able to seamlessly support entrepreneurs across the street, or the other side of the planet.

    Additionally, one of the most dynamic aspects of Kiva is the 38,000 lending teams that allow lenders with shared interests to come together in support of Kiva’s community of entrepreneurs. To date, lenders have not been able to associate their Kiva Zip loans with lending teams, but after we merge this will become possible. We expect to see a surge of local lending teams develop among lenders who are excited about creating economic opportunities in and around Detroit.

    If you are interested in learning more, contact the Kiva Detroit small business advisor, Razi Jafri, at kiva@buildinstitute.org or visit Kiva Detroit on our website for more information.

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    View funded loans from Build Institute here!