Maria Shriver and The Women’s Conference have partnered with Kiva to bring microlending to the U.S. and promote the economic empowerment of women.
For as little as $25, Americans can lend to women entrepreneurs right in their own backyard. WE Invest, a program of The Women’s Conference, has invested in women entrepreneurs in California, linking them to business training, mentoring and a support network to give them the tools to start or expand their own businesses.
WE Invest has partnered with Kiva, the world’s first person-to-person microlending website (www.kiva.org), created to empower individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe. This venture has empowered thousands of women across America to become more financially independent, showing that every loan – even $25 – can make a real difference and change a life.
Maria Shriver’s lending team raised more than $40,000 in loans by the end of 2010.
WE Invest in women to become more financially independent by investing in the whole woman and linking them to business training, mentoring, microloans and a support network that can help them start or expand their own business. We have encouraged women from our community to join our Women’s Conference Lending Team to extend microloans to other women through our groundbreaking partnership with Kiva.org.
We have partnered with Kiva.org to create a groundbreaking domestic microlending program that allowed visitors to WomensConference.org and Kiva.org to support women entrepreneurs, giving them loans to start or expand their business. This national program launched in June 2009, allowing us to empower thousands of women across the country to become more financially independent. Additional partners include The Opportunity Fund and ACCION U.S.A.
We have partnered with Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment, Women’s Economic Ventures and the Community Financial Resource Center to expand the number of women trained through our WE Invest Program.
We have worked to engage women to create their own economic empowerment circles to help other women become more financially independent through our WE Invest partnership with Kiva.org.
To empower women economically by providing the training, mentoring and funding needed to start or expand their businesses and achieve their dreams allowing them to see themselves as Architects of Change.
How We Measured Success
- Increasing the number of women empowered to start or expand their businesses through Kiva loans and training programs
- Increasing the number of loans made through the WE Invest Partnership with Kiva.org
- Increasing the number of women who join us