Kiva Loan Program

The Office of Small Business is a trustee for the local non-profit Kiva. Kiva connects Bay Area entrepreneurs with 0% interest loans up to $10,000 to help start or grow businesses.  Regardless of your financial or business history, Kiva's mission is to expand financial access to entrepreneurs and small businesses who otherwise would not be eligible for a business loan.  Kiva loans are crowd-funded by individual lenders on the Kiva website, connecting small businesses with dozens of lenders who can be potential brand ambassadors, customers, and mentors. As a trustee, the Office of Small Business can endorse qualified borrowers for a Kiva loan. See additional loan information and criteria below.

Loan Amount

Up to $10,000

Interest Rate

0% interest

Term of Loan

24 months or less (administered via PayPal)

Eligible Loan Uses

Business purpose, including but not limited to working capital, inventory purchase, equipment and machinery, startup costs, leasehold improvements, etc.

Minimum Requirements

  • Borrower must not be heavily indebted (debt-to-income ratio must be less than 35%)
  • Borrower cannot have any past-due debt
  • Borrower cannot currently be in foreclosure or bankruptcy, under liens, or subject to a lawsuit
  • Borrowers annual income must be less than $100,000
  • Borrower must be over 16
  • Borrower must have a PayPal account

OSB Endorsement Requirements

The Office of Small Business may endorse new or existing San Francisco small businesses with a strong business concept and of rock solid character. The ideal borrower is a client of the Office of Small Business who has worked with a Business Case Manager and built a relationship over time, to where the Case Manager feels comfortable endorsing borrower.  The borrower should also fully understand the business requirements and resources available to successfully start and operate a business, and has taken time to develop a business plan and financials, or has taken some business classes, and or has business experience. OSB staff will consider the overall experience working with the borrower, including the borrower’s personality and character, including how well we know and trust the borrower. Borrowers should be financially excluded and underserved, aim to have a positive social impact, and be in compliance with all laws and regulations. 

Please note, while an endorsement is not necessary to access a Kiva loan, loans that are endorsed by trustees have more cerdibility with Kiva lenders, and so they trypically fundraise more quickly.

For more information, contact the Office of Small Business at 415-554-6134 or email Spencer Larkin from Kiva at spencerl@kiva.org.