In the late fall of this past year, Haverford Microfinance Consulting (HMFC) was officially approved as a Kiva-Zip Trustee and able to endorse entrepreneurs on Kiva Zip’s zero-interest-loan crowd-funding platform. The students of HMFC searched throughout the Fall and Spring semesters to identify good candidates to support and, through a Kiva Zip representative, were introduced to entrepreneur Aisha Al-Muid. Through a series of calls, meetings and visits to her store, the students became convinced that she is an excellent candidate for Kiva Zip’s platform. Co-president Ian McGroarty says, “Aisha’s goals are inspiring, her mission is meaningful, and her passion is undeniable. But more importantly her plan is good.” The team unanimously agreed to become her trustee and as the academic year came to a close supported her campaign as their first trustee endorsement. After successfully demonstrating her own friends and family are willing to support her during a two-week private fundraising period, Aisha‘s profile is now public on the Kiva Zip platform and she is looking for individuals willing to help her achieve her funding goal.
Located in the heart of the 60th Street Corridor, Aisha’s boutique, Miss Mahogany Jewelry, is in an important, upcoming location. Once a bustling boulevard and retail center of a West Philadelphia community, the community is striving to restore itself after SEPTA’s decade-long closing and reconstruction of SEPTA’s 60th street station. Providing reasonably priced fashion and home accessories, Miss Mahogany Jewelry (website here) is one of many retail stores that are quickly becoming a major attraction to the area. While SEPTA’s reconstruction process is now complete, many stores are still struggling as the corridor tries to redefine itself. Providing access to needed finance can help. Haverford HMFC is playing an active role in helping this community by supporting Miss Mahogany in her goals.
Aisha plans to use the loan for marketing to enhance the buzz factor for Miss Mahogany to continue driving foot traffic to the 60th street corridor. Aisha also plans to hire in-store-workers to free up her time to get the word out about her boutique and continue to find the products that make her store a great place to shop.
The students are asking for help in their effort to support Aisha to grow her business and in turn build the community. Please consider registering on the Kiva Zip platform and making a zero interest loan to Aisha and Miss Mahogany here.
Kiva-Zip is an organization dedicated to helping small businesses whose limited access to finance can be a big barrier to their success. Kiva-Zip’s peer-to-peer crowd funding strategy uses concepts of microfinance, in particular, harnessing a borrower’s social network to align incentives to repay, and has been successful in helping small businesses in communities across the US. With the recent involvement of the Philadelphia Mayor’s office and declaration of Philadelphia as a Kiva Zip City, Kiva Zip is bringing funds to an increasing number of entrepreneurial firms in the region. And, because of some generous local supporters, any funds lent to entrepreneurs in Philadelphia are currently being matched! So help the HMFC help Aisha and be a part of Kiva Zip.