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Greater Tulsa Reporter

Lobeck Taylor Launches Kiva Tulsa for Small Business

ENTREPRENEURIAL ADVOCATES: This photo was taken at the State of Entrepreneurship Address at 36 Degrees North in Tulsa where it was announced that the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation (LTFF) donated a $250,000 match fund for Kiva. From left are Natalie Deuschle, director of Grants & Impact, LTFF; Meredith Peebles, COO, LTFF; G.T. Bynum; Tulsa mayor; Bill Lobeck - founding board member, LTFF; Kathy Taylor, founding board member, LTFF; Casey Allen, Tulsa Kiva lead; and Ashley Van Horne , director of communications, LTFF.

GTR Newspapers photo

The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation (LTFF), in partnership with Louisville-based Access Ventures, celebrated the official launch of Kiva Tulsa recently. Kiva Tulsa is an initiative that offers zero percent interest crowdfunded microloans up to $10,000 to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in Tulsa and the surrounding areas.

During the official launch, Kiva Tulsa held a live funding event featuring over 20 local businesses seeking Kiva loans at the Cox Business Center, in conjunction with the Tulsa StartUp Series Demo Day Finals. The live funding event resulted in an overall amount of $20,575 lent to the participating startups. Four businesses (Mollycoddled Hash Slinger, Reliveit, Inner Well Bean, and Bodhi’s Bowl) received full funding for their small business loans during the course of the night.

“We know from the State of Entrepreneurship Report data that entrepreneurs in Tulsa desperately need more options to raise startup capital,” said LTFF CEO Elizabeth Frame Ellison. “Kiva is a solution to that problem that doesn’t just bolster our small businesses by giving them access to funding – it also recruits our entire community to use their resources to make a direct impact in local economic development.”

With the Kiva Tulsa platform, anyone can help grow Tulsa’s small business economy and promote local job creation by visiting, browsing the available entrepreneur stories, and choosing an entrepreneur to support with a loan of $25 or more. Last week, LTFF announced a $250,000 match fund, which matches all loans in the Tulsa MSA dollar-for-dollar.

The implementation of Kiva Tulsa was made possible by several local organizations that act as Kiva trustees, publicly endorsing and vouching for Kiva entrepreneurs. Trustees in the Tulsa area who have endorsed borrowers include the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, Kitchen 66, The Mine, BetaBlox, Kendall-Whittier Main Street, SCORE Tulsa and the Greenwood Cultural Center.

Updated 01-16-2018

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