Friday, August 24, 2018

Contact: Catherine Tenuta, SBS Press Secretary-, 212-618-8768


Combined Total of Over $600,000 in Loans Raised Through the Crowdfunding Program

NEW YORK - Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and NYC Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop today announced that the City’s first-of-its-kind crowdfunding program has reached over 100 loans since its launch in November 2017. The program, called WE Fund: Crowd, has helped over 100 New Yorkers access over $600,000 in 0% interest loans. More than 8,600 lenders from across the globe have contributed to the initiative, with the City investing up to $1,000, or the first 10% of a fundraising goal, for each campaign. WE Fund: Crowd loans are made available through the City’s crowdfunding partnership with Kiva.

The announcement was made during a tour of Brooklyn Quality Eats, a meal prep delivery service that found a lack of awareness about its product to be its biggest challenge and secured a $10,000 loan through WE Fund: Crowd to boost its advertising. The business operates out of PilotWorks, a Brooklyn-based food incubator.

“That WE Fund: Crowd has exceeded the 100-loan mark in under a year is a powerful demonstration of broad and deep public support for women entrepreneurs," said Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. "As this program grows, NYC will benefit from  jobs growth, a stronger start-up economy, and more women-run businesses across sectors.”

“While seventy percent of women entrepreneurs seek only $10,000 or less when launching a business, securing affordable and reliable capital can be immensely challenging,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “With over 100 loans to date, WE Fund: Crowd is a successful solution that will continue to support the nearly 359,000 women entrepreneurs who contribute to our city’s local economy.”

About WE Fund: Crowd
WE Fund: Crowd is part of WE NYC, a women’s entrepreneurship initiative launched by the City’s Department of Small Business Services. WE Fund: Crowd is an innovative partnership between the City and the not-for-profit crowdfunding platform, which helps women entrepreneurs raise crowdfunded loans of up to $10,000. Through WE Fund, the City contributes up to $1,000, or the first 10% of a fundraising goal, per campaign with no-interest repayment terms for up to 42 months. The City has pledged to facilitate more than $3 million in loans.

Private corporations can also help women crowdfund loans through Kiva. Kiva works with public, private, and nonprofit partners to help borrowers achieve their goals through grants, loan matching, and employee + customer engagement programs:

  • Grants provide financial and organizational support for the Kiva platform, expanding financial inclusion for almost 3 million borrowers and testing new innovations through Kiva Labs.
  • Loan Matching increases impact by matching crowdfunding loans dollar for dollar through a Kiva managed lending account. Each partner decides the countries, sectors, and causes that are most important, and partners are recognized on each campaign’s site. For example, some WE Fund Crowd campaigns have received matching loans from organizations such as Deutsche Bank, the Pershing Square Foundation, or the MetLife Foundation.
  • Employee + Customer Engagement allows partners to create a Kiva lending account, and distribute codes to employees or customers. Individuals can lend as little as $25 to support their favorite campaigns, and increase engagement with corporate sponsors.

For more information on WE Fund: Crowd, visit

About WE NYC

WE NYC, launched by the NYC Department of Small Business Services in 2015, delivers tailored, research based programs for women entrepreneurs to better connect them to the resources, education, and community they need to flourish. WE NYC services are free and open to all women throughout the five boroughs. For more information visit

About the Department of Small Business Services (SBS)
SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, visit, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.