The Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) is pleased to announce that it was recently selected as the first Kiva Zip Trustee in the State of Vermont. Kiva Zip is a loan program within the global non-profit Kiva, based in San Francisco, that offers 0% interest loans for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the United States through crowdfunding. Kiva Zip Trustees are individuals or organizations who recommend borrowers to the Kiva Zip program. Trustees are an integral part of the model because of their ability to vouch for an entrepreneur’s character and reputation.

“We are thrilled to develop this partnership with Kiva Zip,” said Robin Scheu, Executive Director of ACEDC. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to support a wide range of businesses and entrepreneurs that we might not normally serve. It helps entrepreneurs gain access to funding to start or grow a business. And it’s a way to make an impact in the communities in which these businesses operate. We are delighted to have another ‘tool’ in our toolbox to support our businesses.”

Loans are typically in the $500 – 5,000 range, though returning borrowers may apply for loans up to $20,000. Money is crowd-funded on the Kiva Zip website by individuals around the world who invest as little as $5 each. The process only takes a few weeks. Loans may be used for nearly any business purpose such as investing in new equipment, purchasing inventory, hiring staff, expanding product lines, marketing or advertising.

As a Trustee, ACEDC will review business plans prior to endorsing a borrower, and ensure ongoing technical support both before and after a loan is disbursed. Entrepreneurs who are interested in learning more may contact ACEDC at or call 802-388-7953. For more information on Kiva Zip, please visit

About Kiva Zip

Kiva Zip was launched as a pilot in November 2011 and officially began operations in September 2012. There are three principal aims for Kiva Zip: to expand financial opportunities and access for borrowers who otherwise lack them; to reduce the cost of capital for borrowers who need it; and to enhance the connectedness between lenders and borrowers. As of the end of August 2013, the Kiva Zip pilot had disbursed loans to about 1,400 borrowers via approximately 15,000 lenders. 


ACEDC is the resource for navigating the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Addison County Vermont. Since 1993, ACEDC has loaned over $3.5 million to dozens of local businesses, creating or retaining more than 1200 jobs in Addison County. ACEDC is an equal opportunity lender. For more info go to