Essential Pittsburgh
3:45 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Community Backed Micro-Lending Helps Homewood Indoor Bike Park

The 80,000 square foot warehouse houses many ramps like this one, where kids and adults can bike.
Credit The Wheel Mill

Since the early 2000’s more than one million small businesses worldwide have been funded through the online micro-lending program known as

The loans help revitalize local economies and make it possible for the average person, rather than banks, to fund innovative ideas and businesses. 

Premal Shah, President and co-founder said Kiva is a non-profit that provides loans to many different people at 0% interest, often people who can't qualify for a bank loan.

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3:11 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Crowdfunding Site for Small Businesses Launches in Pittsburgh

Jesus Martinez took out a Kiva loan for his restuarant La Palapa.
Julian Routh 90.5 WESA

When Tracy Carter was a member of corporate America, she daydreamed in her office about opening up her own hair salon.

She knew she was serious about her aspirations, but didn’t have the finances to jump start them.  

Rather than going to a bank for a loan, Carter found help from 95 donors on, a crowdfunding initiative that enables anyone in the world to lend money to small businesses.

Now, $5,000 later, Carter owns Shear Talent in Bethel Park.

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