My name is Geoffrey Jones and I have the honor of being a Capital Access Manager with Kiva through our Hub at Bankable.“Kiva is a 501(c)3 U.S. nonprofit fueled by passionate people. Kiva was founded in 2005, and based in San Francisco, with offices in Bangkok, Nairobi, Portland, and staff around the globe. Bankable works in partnership with Kiva by Bankable being a Kiva-Hub. Borrowers that apply through Bankable that might be a better fit for Kiva have instant access through having a Capital Access Manager contact like Geoffrey. Then it can be handed right back off to Bankable if that borrower chooses to apply for additional funding.
More than 1.7 billion people around the world are unbanked and can’t access the financial services they need. Kiva helps these individuals by crowdfunding loans and unlocking capital for the underserved by improving the quality and cost of financial services, and addressing the underlying barriers to financial access around the world. Through Kiva’s work, students can pay for tuition, women can start businesses, farmers are able to invest in equipment, and families can afford needed emergency care.
As Capital Access Manager I see a lot of applications. There are four common mistakes I usually see. So, here are some easy fixes to give you an even better chance to be accepted!
4 Kiva Application Mistakes
1. Profile Photo
Kiva has a pretty simple application process but one of the most controversial issues is the profile photo. While it is much easier to take a selfie or just upload a photo of your business/product, Kiva would rather see the individual (the borrower only) smiling and representing their business in some way.
2. Business Description & Story
This is where the underwriters, including myself, have the opportunity to get to know the borrower. Kiva looks for really well-thought and clean applications with grammatically correct descriptions of the business and the borrower’s story. Kiva is here to serve underserved individuals and wants to know what challenges they have been facing so that Kiva can share that they can help out those who truly face the hardships in today’s world.
3. Reasons for funding
There must be a good reason that these funds are going to go towards. With hundreds of thousands of lenders all over the globe, they want to know that their donation is going to a meaningful purpose. Too many times people request money just to have it, and that takes away from individuals who truly need the funds to continue on thriving. Kiva has certain eligibility requirements you can find on their site when applying for funding.
4. Document Business Proof
Make sure your business is registered! Kiva takes lending very seriously and will only lend out to validated and documented businesses that can show they are a legal business. Again, with lenders all over the world, they need to know what they are donating to is a legal cause and a business that is following the laws. Depending on where a business is located, there are many resources within their city that they can register for legal documentation to practice their business lawfully.
It’s truthfully an easy process and we want to help you as much as we can! If you just take your time and advocate for yourself and your business. You started this for a reason, you believed in yourself, now make lenders and customers around the world believe in you the same way!
Bankable has partnered with the City of South Bend to provide relief microloans to small businesses within the city’s limits that are still in need of some financial support until they can find their footing once more. The funds supporting this partnership are only available for a limited amount of time so act quickly if you have interest.
These loans can be used for a number of reason including payroll, inventory, rent, equipment, working capital, and more. Rates will be fixed at 8%, all closing fees are waived, terms can be up to 6 years, and there are no prepayment penalties!
If you are a business located in South Bend, IN, and are interested in applying for a loan, please reach out to Bailey Long at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to learn more!
For more information about the partnership check out these links.
According to research found by Gallup’s, 62 percent of employed Americans currently say they are working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore many of us are learning, adapting, and adjusting to the way we are working. Most studies are showing people prefer to be working remotely. So the question is: why is it important to keep the office culture strong and how can we continue to stay connected to one another? That also brings up the question that many entrepreneurs and small business owners have, which is: how can we continue to support other small businesses during this time?
Why do we need office culture?
Office culture is important for employees, not only does it give you a destination to attend to and start a routine with, but it can also play a role in how you decide your day is going to go. Having a space where people are able to come together ideate, brainstorm, and trust one another adds value to your business. Employees are more likely to enjoy their work when they are somewhere where the culture is a good fit. Staples 2019 Workplace Survey states that 90 percent of employees say allowing for more flexible work arrangements and schedules would increase employee morale, while 77 percent say allowing employees to work remotely may lead to lower operating costs. Now that many of us are working remotely, how can we adjust to making our work environment more comfortable as well as staying intune with our co-workers?
Here are some examples of the differences between positive and negative work environments!
What does a positive work environment have?
- Team Unity
What does a negative work environment have?
- Lack of Interest
- Bad Communication
- Cliques, Exclusion + Gossipy Behavior
- Poor Leadership
If we look at the differences we are able to see how important employee connection truly is for a business.
How can we continue to stay connected even when we are working from home?
While we are all still trying to adjust to the new “normal” we are able to grow and learn and stay connected in different ways than ever before. We have to prioritize and manage our time to connect with coworkers. Here are a few different ways to stay connected and engaged with others in the workplace.
- Coffee Chats
- Company Contests/Challenges
- Be Available and Respond Quickly
- Lunch Room Hangouts
- Group Chats
These are just some of the many ways you can stay connected with those in the workplace while you’re working remotely! Here at Bankable, we have incorporated social distant picnics, group bingo, and several other virtual contests within our team! It might seem frightening and discouraging for some to know that working remotely is the new “normal”, but for those who are feeling this way we hope to have provided you with some more ways to make your connection with your coworkers still relevant and less disappointing!
How can we support small businesses while staying home?
Although many of us are learning to work remotely and stay as connected to our co-workers as we can, many small business owners and entrepreneurs are changing the way they work as well. Here are a few different ways small businesses are learning to adapt and stay connected in this new environment.
Those are just a couple examples of how many small businesses are learning to help eachother out during these challenging times. Check out PaySimple to see several more small businesses learning to adapt and adjust during this time.
As entrepreneurs and small business owners we are always looking for different ways we can support one another and continue to help each other’s businesses. Since covid-19 things have become a little more difficult and caused a few setbacks within the small business world. Many of us are learning and adapting to the virtual world and becoming more
There are several different ways we can all support small businesses during this time. Here is a list of a few different ways to stay connected and supportive towards small businesses while staying home.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out to our Bankable team to discuss ways your business could stay connected while working remotely by emailing us at email@example.com.
Customer service is an essential part of any business. In order to understand what customer service can do for a business, it is easiest to split it up into two categories: brand association and customer satisfaction.
What do people say when they think about your business? You must determine what you want people to think of when they hear about your business and align that with your brand strategy. For example, everyone knows Chick-fil-A is known for going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to customer service. From saying “my pleasure” after every exchange to chasing a person down the street just because they forgot their sauce. Chick-fil-A has branded themselves as the pinnacle of customer service and it has paid off tremendously.
One of the most important ideals that goes unnoticed in great customer service is brand loyalty. If you think we are wrong, ask yourself when was the last time you saw a commercial for Chick-Fil-A. That is because they have been able to use their customer base to get the word out. They use user-generated-content to their advantage, which is the best content because it acts as both a customer review and brand focused content.
User-generated content is social media content that is posted by a consumer that highlights a company’s positive or negative behaviors. Whether that be their product or service. It acts as its own unique form of marketing that could be good or bad for a business. Taking time to incorporate high level customer service can influence your business and can easily be the difference between your business being successful or sub-par.
Now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “That’s great but I’m not Chick-fil-a.” That’s the beauty of being a smaller business. Small businesses have more of an opportunity to create community and brand loyalty through amazing customer service and experience. Make sure you are taking advantage of the chances that are presented. Be bold and ask your customers the question, “what can we do to keep you coming back?” Some answers will be good and some won’t be, but the information that you gather and implement will not only help your business. It will prove to your customers your listening. That is what keeps them coming back for more!
How happy your customers are does not solely depend on customer service.
It has a lot to do with the:
- Product you offer
- Convenience of location
- And, how your prices compare to other competitors.
Above all else, being educated on what makes your customers keep coming back is important.
Customer satisfaction comes in all different forms. Some customers like that Chick-fil-A has the attitude of, “we will be the nicest people on planet earth as long as we are wearing this uniform attitude and that works for their brand.” On the other hand, there are establishments like Dicks Last Resort that thrive off of insulting and treating their customers terribly. This unorthodox form of “customer service” works for them and provides a unique dining experience that continues to bring customers back as well.
How customers receive your brand and product is important. Customer service should not only exist in our restaurant industries. Some effort should be made to keep consumers coming back again and again.
Bankable always strives to treat their clients and their partners with the utmost respect and customer service. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few more resources:
Last month, Bankable made a statement, as a company, that we would stand with the Black Community and Black-owned small businesses in Indiana. We recommitted to listening, learning, changing, and innovating so that we can better amplify and support people of color.
One way we are showing our commitment to the minority-owned small businesses is by partnering with Old National Bank. Old National Bank has provided a grant of $50,000 that will be used to provide fair and affordable loans and technical assistance to minority-owned businesses who need extra support amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
This will help support and elevate minority-owned businesses in Indiana who are members of Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC). Part of the mission of Mid-States MSDC is to promote successful minority enterprises in Indiana by being an advocate for minority-owned businesses and provide economic assistance. This is done through networking, coaching, training, and more.
While we feel very honored and excited to be a part of this venture, we are still continuing a never-ending commitment to seek and create more opportunities for minority-owned businesses. There are more projects and initiatives in the works behind the scene that we will share when we can. So, expect to hear more from us soon.
To learn more about this partnership and program, please contact us at email@example.com.