Kiva Zip 0% Interest Loans


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. To learn more about Kiva, click here to watch the video "Be the Spark that Changes the World".

kiva zip logo

Kiva Zip – ACEDC’s Due Diligence

1.       How will you decide who to endorse as a borrower? What due diligence will you conduct?

We will require that every candidate have a business mentoring relationship with a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) advisor, SCORE, a Micro Business Development organization, or other reputable business consultant. In addition, candidates must have a reasonable business plan and a clear understanding of the purpose of the Kiva Zip loan and intended impact on the business. The ACEDC Loan Committee will ultimately approve any nomination.

2.       How do you plan to support the borrower, both before and after the loan is disbursed?

ACEDC works closely with the Vermont SBDC as well as SCORE and will require that a relationship with one of these or a similar organization be maintained throughout the life of the loan. In addition, ACEDC provides business advice as well as connections and other resources to support local entrepreneurs succeed and grow. ACEDC will require at least semi-annual check-ins with the company’s business advisor and/or ACEDC.

3.       How will you help us ensure that the loans you endorse have a significant and positive social impact?

ACEDC’s primary focus is on small and emerging businesses with potential for growth. Being in a rural agricultural county, we recognize the important role small businesses play in the local economy. They create jobs, support families, and positively impact their communities. We offer our own revolving loan funds but the Kiva Zip program offers us the ability to serve businesses that don’t qualify for our loan programs and are otherwise underserved by traditional lenders. Kiva Zip fills an important gap on the capital continuum.

Borrowers get started here.

Click HERE for Kiva Zip Borrower Loan Application.

For more FAQs & Resources about Kava Zip Trustees click here