91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
On this page you'll find all of our stories on the city of Detroit.Suggest a story here and follow our podcast here.

New microlending website helps Detroit's small biz owners

user penywise
Kiva Detroit helps connect small business owners in the city with potential lenders

Several Detroit non-profits want to help potential small business owners get some much needed capital.

They’ve launched a microlending website called Kiva Detroit, an extension of the California-based Kiva.org. Small business owners post their idea online and anyone can give a loan for as little as $25. The site went live this Wednesday.

Delphia Simmons wanted to start a ‘street newspaper’ for the city of Detroit. Instead of turning to a bank for a loan, she used the new website to get a $1,000 loan. She says the money will go toward the first printing, which she expects will cost around $950. Simmons says that will give her "about 5,000 papers to start with."

Simmons will distribute the paper, called Thrive Detroit, to the city's homeless for 25 cents each, who will then sell the papers to the public for $1. She plans to launch the newspaper in August.

The Knight Foundation, one of the nonprofits behind Kiva Detroit, contributed $250,000 to match all grants made on the website. The other groups involved in the new site are Michigan Corps, ACCION USA, and California-based Kiva.org.

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
Related Content