Columbus Foundation Awards Grants to Small Business Development Programs


The Columbus Foundation has awarded two grants totaling $75,000 to Kiva and SEA Change. Through various resources the two programs will help develop small businesses and social enterprises in the Columbus community.

“There are many forward-thinking community partners in Columbus actively looking for ways to increase sustainability and grow business opportunities through smart, strategic means,” says Columbus Foundation President & CEO Douglas F. Kridler. “These grants are made possible thanks to Columbus Foundation donors who provided funds to address emerging opportunities—such as small business development—that will strengthen our community.”

The money was sourced from the Fund for Financial Innovation, a fund established in 2010 to support nonprofit organizations and projects that promote social enterprise collaborations, affiliations and mergers.

A $25,000 grant was given to Kiva Microfunds to support the launch of Kiva Columbus. Kiva helps small business owners crowdfund zero-interest microloans for their businesses, especially those with significant barriers to accessing capital.

“The role of small business entrepreneurship in local economies is critical in creating new jobs and revitalizing neighborhoods,” says Kiva Co-Founder & President Premal Shah. “However, they are too often denied loans because their credit history may be too short, their business too young, or their ideas appear too risky. They simply lack a small amount of capital to start or expand.”

Kiva Columbus aims to close that gap by awarding 200 loans averaging $6,000 per loan to the city’s small businesses and entrepreneurs over the next three years.

SEA Change received a $50,000 grant to establish the SEA Change Fund of The Columbus Foundation. The fund will support participants of the program that is gearing up for its first cohort in Columbus, as well as other social enterprise efforts. SEA Change will provide a number of area social enterprises with an intensive accelerator program to take their idea from concept to successful business. 

The Columbus Foundation has served the community for 70 plus years with its philanthropic advising for individuals, families and businesses.

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