Kiva Lends a Hand to L.A. Food Entrepreneurs

Cafe 22
Cafe 22 Photo: Cafe 22, the micro-lending organization famous for raising funds to supply low interest loans to Third World entrepreneurs in need of farm animals and supplies, is now serving Los Angeles. The L.A. Times notes the organization’s work with thirteen businesses in our area, including one to the owner of East L.A.’s Cafe 22, who says she was denied by “three different banks” before Kiva secured her $5,000 to cover start-up costs. Thanks to the loan, the fledgling business is starting delivery service. Kiva could become a new KickStarter of sorts for potential owners, as the site has also helped provide much needed scratch for a catering outfit named Foodink and a budding empire of paleterias. Kiva came to L.A. following its outreach to other cities. Founder Premal Shah notes Maria Shriver’s influence in pushing him to SoCal and says, “It’s arguable whether Detroit or New Orleans is worse off than some places in Los Angeles.” Hey, as long as he’s handing out money, he’ll get no argument here. [LAT]