Kiva loan takes Cheeky Things to the next level
Maddy Martin's Tulsa-based cloth diaper service got a much-needed boost from the microfinance crowdfunding platform.
Maddy Martin, right, delivers freshly laundered cloth diapers to a client.
Twenty-eight-year-old Maddy Martin isn’t afraid of hard work. Passionate, organized and creative, she has all of the skills she needs to take her Tulsa-based business, Cheeky Things cloth diaper service, to the next level. She just needs cash. And as with most young entrepreneurs, finding funds is one of her biggest challenges.
That’s where Kiva, an international microfinance crowdfunding platform, comes in. According to Program Lead Casey Allen, Kiva Tulsa, in partnership with the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, has provided more than $300,000 in loans to support over 50 Oklahoma businesses since it arrived in May 2017. Forty-seven percent of those businesses are minority owned, and 59 percent are women owned. Most of the funded businesses don’t qualify for traditional loans, and that makes this program a game changer.
For Martin, who found traditional loan options daunting, the $6,000 interest-free loan she received through Kiva Tulsa has enabled her to purchase equipment and supplies, allowing her to expand her business into a reusable hand towel service.
“I would not have been able to start this new service if it weren’t for the Kiva loan,” Martin says. “I wouldn’t have been able to branch out. I wouldn’t be able to do any of the things I’m doing now.”